Empire of Zahava
Coat of arms
|Location of Zahava (dark green) – in Anterra (green & grey) – in Southern Avalonia (green)|
Topographic Map of Zahava|
Topographic Map of Zahava
|Official languages||High Imperial|
|Recognised national languages||High Imperial, Low Imperial Korean, Portugese, Quechan|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary semi-constitutional monarchy|
|2,368,896 km2 (914,636 sq mi)|
• 2019 census
|54.9/km2 (142.2/sq mi) (1)|
|GDP (PPP)||2016 estimate|
|$6.536 Trillion (3)|
• Per capita
Zahava officially The Divine Empire of Zahava or The Imperium of Zahava is a country rumored to be located on the eastern coast of Avalonia. Zahava borders Albaterra to the west, Kaya to the south, and SiWallqanqa to the South West and shares a maritime border with Agrana y Griegro via the isle of Trinidad, the entire area around Zahava is shrouded by a dense fog and unauthorized aircraft and vessles that enter this fog are never seen or heard from again, while others report a vibrant, well developed industrial civilization lives within the fogs confines. Zahava has a population of 329,675,654 and is the third largest country in total land area encompassing 2,368,896 square kilometers. The Imperial government, under the Primogenitor of Zahava, administers jurisdiction over 14 provinces known domestically as Segmentums,and one direct-controlled municipality, the capital city of Arcanium.
Zahava emerged as one of the world's first civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Mageius and Masali Rivers in the mesis plain. A number of previously nomadic tribes would begin to transition to a more sedimentary and permanent lifestyle with the advent of agriculture. While there were many tribes that existed throughout Zahavan pre-history and antiquity the most developed and influential of these early civilizations were the Zokhian, Marsini, Pelleoni, Kaesoroni, Abranxe, and Teratans.
Each of these peoples developed different cultures, types of government, religious beliefs, although languages gradually started to become somewhat similar from one group to another. Each group would eventually established permanent settlements to serve as their bases of power, essentially becoming City States or kingdoms independent of one another, and often in competition with each other. Each city state would vie for control over its neighbors through a series of diplomatic negotiations with rivals and an almost continuous series of wars.
Over time these civilizations would evolve and as they exchanged cultural influences new civilizations would arise. In 221 BCE the Tarentae would successfully unite most of the north eastern and coastal kingdoms of modern day Zahava to established what some call the first empire. This empire was short lived, but the projects and reforms the Tarentae had made in their rise to power would have long lasting effects on Zahavan history and other civilizations that came after them.
With the fall of the Tarentae empire, once again many of the Zahavan civilizations would return to effectively being independent city states, competeting against one another. This period would last until 27 CE when a warrior seafaring peoples, who originated from the isles of Kharmedia and Craetes but had begun settling in the south eastern regions of Zahava as early as mid 200's BCE would launch a series of invasions northwards, beginning in 197 BCE and culminating in total annexation and the formation of the Zahavaite empire in 27 BCE. The zahavite empire would last for the next several hundred years into 497 CE when the empire, would become a republic. Republic rule would itself last several hundred years, before aristocratic factions, seizing on a series of internal struggles fragmented the republic until the conquests of Zimisces which would see imperial rule restored.
The government would transition as the Empire grew, initially much more democratic over time rulers embedded themselves, and thus their authority in the zahavan faith, eventually being proclaimed direct descendants of the demi-god hero Zahavarius, who would serve as protector and leader of all humanity. The Imperial house would exert absolute authority over all aspects of government until 2020 when Primogenitor _____, in the face of widespread internal unrest made a series of concessions allowing the populous at large a greater say in government, handing over a number of governmental duties, creating a new government position, called the Archon who is a member of the Imperial senate elected from among itself to serve as the new head of government.
Since then Zahava has been a constitutional republic governed by the Imperial Senate, who elects from among its members an Archon to serve as head of government. As a great power is a recognized nuclear state and is a leading member of the Economic Community of Southern and External Avalonian States global alliance.
Zahava has the worlds third largest economy with 6.3 trillion dollars gross domestic purchasing power parity with a gdp per capita of 19,110 dollars. The currency of Zahava is the denarius, a coinage originally implemented in about the 7th century BC. Zahava is a industrialized country country with a social market economy with a large advanced technological infrastructure and rapidly growing manufacturing and service sector thanks largely to outside investment as well as a well-integrated agriculture sector. Despite this Zahava faces many issues with poverty, illegal immigration, corruption and increased tensions with its neighbors governed by colonial minorities.
The name Zahava derives from the name of Zahavarius, who, according to Zahavan Polytheism was the mythological demi-god hero that saved mankind from the evil forces of the underworld and established the the first civilization. The name Zahava comes from the old Arcanic word Zhavite, meaning children or simply of Zahavarius. The Zahavite peoples would eventually conquer the othe peoples of modern day Zahava, and adopted the name their former enemies had bestowed upon them. With the early manuscripts found at Zahavite ruins from the 4th century indicating that the Zahavites referred to themselves as Zahavan, or sons of Zahavarius. It is entirely possible that the original name for the peoples who conquered all of modern day Zahava has been lost to time.
Zahava emerged as one of the world's first civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Mageius and Masali Rivers in the mesis plain. A number of previously nomadic tribes would begin to transition to a more sedimentary and permanent lifestyle with the advent of agriculture. While there were many tribes that existed throughout Zahavan pre-history and antiquity the most developed and influential of these early civilizations were the Kaesoroni, Marsini, Pelleoni, Kaesoroni, Murmean, Moyara and Agnathio.
Each of these peoples developed different cultures, types of government, religious beliefs, although languages gradually started to become somewhat similar from one group to another. Each group would eventually established permanent settlements to serve as their bases of power, essentially becoming City States, or kingdoms independent of one another, and often in competition with each other. Each city state would vie for control over its neighbors through a series of diplomatic negotiations with rivals and an almost continuous series of wars with some kingdoms having more success than others.
What is now Zahava was inhabited by Homo erectus more than a million years ago. Recent study shows that the stone tools found at Albanianis site are magnetostratigraphically dated to 1.36 million years ago. The archaeological site of Harianin in Occidentus segmentum has evidence of use of fire by Homo erectus,which is dated 1.27 million years ago, and Homo erectus fossils in Zahava include the Arketan Man, and the Sepelio Man. Fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens dating to 125,000–80,000 BC have been discovered in Dyrrachium Cave in the Tumultum Segmentum. Evidence of Middle Palaeolithic Levallois technology has been found in the lithic assemblage of Xandassus Cave site in southwest Zahava, dated to approximately 170,000–80,000 years ago.
Additionally thousands of Paleolithic-era artifacts have been recovered from the upper masali valley and dated to around 850,000 years before the present. While even older specimens such as a collection of stone tools and bones found in the Laphis plateau have been dated to 1.46 million years ago.
In 2015 the most complete human skeleton to date was discovered in the boreal highlands, with the remains being dated to 8500 years of age, evidence of metallurgy has been found as far back as the 2nd millennium BC, where several excavations have yielded iron implements dated between 1800–1200 BCE.
The Neolithic age in Zahava can be traced back to about 10,000 BCE. At several sites found along the Masali River archeologists have found evidence of cultivated rice, that has been carbon-dated to 8,000 years ago, at similar locations evidence has been found of proto-zahavan millet agriculture that has been radiocarbon-dated to about 7000 BCE. The development of agriculture and the establishment of farms to provide food over hunting and gathering eventually gave rise to the Marsini culture which is believed to have existed from 7000 to 5800 BCE. At Atonian in the Zapadis segmentum there are some 3,000 plus cliff carvings and drawings dating to 6000–5000 BCE which have been discovered. These carvings feature symbols and characters for things such as the sun, moon, stars, gods, and depict scenes of hunting or grazing. Zahavan proto-writing existed in the Marsini culture around 7000 BCE, further examples of writing were found in the Abraxas culture from 5800 BC to 5400 BC, and has been found in Pelleoni culture sites dating to around 6000 BCE and Zokhian sites dating from the 5th millennium BC. Some scholars have suggested that Marsini symbols were the earliest Zahavan writing system while others dispute this.
Excavation of a Pelleonite culture site in the Axaria segmentum, found a community that flourished in 5,500 to 4,900 BCE, with evidence of agriculture, constructed buildings, pottery, and even burial of the dead. With agriculture came increased population, the ability to store and redistribute crops, and the potential to support specialist craftsmen and administrators. In late Neolithic times, the Masali River valley began to establish itself as a center of Kaesoroni culture from 5000 BCE to 3000 BCE. The first villages were founded during this time; the most significant of these was found outside present day Bloukion, in the Borealis segmentum. Later, Kaesoroni culture was superseded by the Apophontar culture, which was also centered on the Masali River from about 3000 BCE to 2000 BCE.
Bronze artifacts have been found at the Acastian culture site between 3100 and 2700 BCE. The Bronze Age is also represented at the Lower Mageiaus culture 2200–1600 BCE site in south central Zahava. Kempolis located in what is now part of the Tumultum segmentum is believed to be the site of a major ancient city, belonging to the Kempka civilization,between 2000 and 1200 BCE and may have been home to as many as 30,000 people in 1600 BCE. The site of Kempolis was first discovered in 1919 and then re-discovered in 1966.
Evidence of commerece has been found at several sites, namely the Kaelon and Lytanus sites, found in the Mesis and Raetium segmentums respectively. Both sites have Kempkan jewlery, and there is evidence of correspondence between these civilizations. Additionally there are many surviving examples of Kaelon pottery which shs depictions of ships of ocean going designs, and depictions of people wearing Lytanian, Kempkan, and other Zahavan bronze age cultures fashion styles in clothing, hair styles, and styles of makeup or other body art.
Ferrous metallurgy begins to appear in the late 6th century in the lower masali valley. A bronze axe with a blade of meteoric iron excavated near the city of Honeia in the subsolanus segmentum has been dated to the 14th century BCE.
Masonry, sculpting, and other construction advancements are also noted due to the remains of palaces, palatial villas, houses, temples, shrines, monuments and fortifications. Many of these remains show evidence of structural decoration with architectural features, such as columns, friezes and various moldings; mural decoration, such as fresco-paintings, colored reliefs and mosaic inlay. roof tiles were also occasionally employed. Additionally structures were often decorated with depictions of household furniture such as vessels of all sorts, from giant store jugs down to tiny pots; culinary tools, weapons, and other implements and ; thrones, seats, tables, etc are also commonly shown in surviving murals.
Zahava would remain disunited for much of its ancient and early history, mostly a battleground for competing city-states of which the city of Arcanium would become the most influential with a number of dynasties using it as their state capitol, and its strategic location with a protected harbor, and position on the Mageiaus river controlling access to inland waterways. Ancient Zahava is marked by periods of unity and disunity, as city-states were conquered and then regained independence from short-lived rulers or fell under the rule of regional warlords who had once been officers in a conquering army and by internal strife boiling over as new social classes emerged. During this time the Zahavan world was centered largely along the Avalonian coast, and the north eastern sections of the country particularly along the upper and lower Masali river valleys, and at various points along the Mageiaus river valley.
This period would also see the beginnings of several key institutions of what would become Zahavan culture, particularly the development of the Pantheon. The first books of what would become the Epitoma Aiona or Book of the Heavens were written during this period in an early Zahavan script, as well as the first establishment of prefectures as an administrative division, the first series of codified laws establishing rights and protections for citizens, and the establishment of the Kharmideian Games. The period would see a number of rulers, and other aristocratic or influential people ranging from wealthy merchants to early philosophers attempting to reach the gods, with elaborate shrines, temples, built to honor them.
As the early civilizations that inhabit what is modern day Zahava transitioned from being nomadic tribes or groups of hunter gatherers to becoming sedentary farmers focused on agriculture these societies began to change. People now had more time for things like creating art, debating and discussing philosophy and the development of new technologies and construction techniques allowed for more permanent shelter, increased food production led to an increase in population and new political and societal structures began to arise, with influential individuals, typically landowners and former chieftains taking positions of authority over other members. Eventually these different cultures began to fight one another over the best farmland or for other resources with hundreds of towns essentially being established as their own states, controlling the areas directly around them. From time to time these cities would be united, either via politics and diplomacy or through conquest and become kingdoms which ruled over varying amounts of territory each vying for supremacy over the another.
Moyara (2700 – 1200 BCE)
One of the first kingdoms to be described in ancient historical records is the Kingdom of Moyara, which was situated in the Garrissis valley, in what is today the Axaria segmentum. The Moyara kingdom was formed after the Moyara tribe managed to subjugate a number of neighboring tribes, assimilating them into their own or if a tribe had resisted the Moyara they would become second class citizens or slaves. The Moyara established what could be considered a proto semi-feudal system of government with chieftains having semi autonomy over their tribal areas, so long as they paid taxes and contributed men to the Moyara military campaigns. The Moyara kingdom would eventually expand to encompass an area from its homeland in the Garrissis valley, to the what is today Arcanium bay. The Moyara were able to achieve such rapid expansion due to their advanced levels of agriculture cultivating the staple crops of maize, beans, squash, rice and chili peppers, which they then traded for goods such as perfume, oils, and finished goods like pottery. This early trade made the Moyara kingdom extremely wealthy, allowing it exert considerable influence on neighbors and bring them into its sphere of control.
The Moyara kingdom is last mentioned in texts from the kingdom which succeeded it, the Agnathio which describes a series of wars, mostly infighting between the Moyara and their client states, with the Moyara losing the battle of Castus in roughly 1600 BCE resulting in the collapse of the kingdom.
For many years scholars believed the Moyara kingdom to be a mythical culture, due to their being little archeological evidence to support its existence and the accomplishments credited to the kingdom, which many believed to be extremely hyperbolic. That was the case until in 1988 a site was found on the charsis plateau which had artifacts bearing images mentioned in texts from other culture were identifiers of the Moyara kingdom.
Agnathio Kingdom (1600 – 1046 BCE)
The Agnathio kingdom succeeded the Tryris, and are also viewed as semi-mythical in regards to some of the rulers. There are however significant archeological sites to confrim the Agnathio kingdoms existence. The Agnathio kingdom would eventually occupy all the territory the former Tryris kingdom had, extending from its homeland in the Herklia valley. It is likely the Agnathio kingdom existed simultaneously as the Tryris kingdom, and after the absorption of the Tryris kingdom the Agnathio kingdom moved its capital city to an area around modern day Idumea. The Agnathio kingdom were the first to take significant concentrated efforts to control the yearly flooding of the Mageiaus river, and through a series of extensive works involving irrigation, dams, and redirection of the river were successful. These efforts effectively cleared the entirety of the Laphis valley for settlement and agriculture.
The Agnathio kingdom would have some forty one kings rule over it before the kingdom finally collapsed, after a series of wars against the Murmean kingdom which was expanding southwards from the lower Masali valley, culminating in the Battle of Anamedyium where it is said a large portion of the Agnathio king Maculleon Iasion defected to the Murmean king Menes Elha's army leading to Maculleon to commit suicide.
Murmean Kingdom (1046 – 256 BCE)
The Murmean kingdom is the longest lasting of all the Zahavan kingdoms of antiquity. The Murmean kingdom began to emerge from the Murmur valley, along the Murmean river from which the original tribe took its name. The Murmeans, unlike the Agnathio and Tryris before them adopted a centralized form of government, and subdued neighboring tribes, a key component to the Murmean expansion was that they were often able to subdue neighbors without having to fight them. This was due to the Murmean practice of not demanding tribute in the form of gold or silver but in manpower for future campaigns. During campaigns the Murmeans would often use their "allied" forces to bear the brunt of the fighting while their own forces remained intact, thus making it much more difficult for subject kingdoms to rebel.
The Murmeans rapidly overran the territories of the upper and lower Masali valleys before expanding southwards to absorb most of the Agnathio's territory in what is today central Zahava. The Murmeans also expanded eastwards, conquering territories extending from the modern cities of Moriae, which served as the Murmean capital later on to the city of Seidon just north east of Arcanium.
A major first that occured during the Murmean kingdom was the concept of the rulers authority coming from the divine. The Murmeans believed their king or queen were a divine being sent from the heavens by the ruler of the divines to rule over man and ensure the divine's will was carried out on earth. This did not stop the overthrow of Murmean rulers however, as it was determined that if a ruler should do so poorly that a challenger should rise and successfully overthrow them, then the challenger had been sent by the divine to replace the previous dynasty.
Under the Murmean rule, a mercantile class of society began to merge, shown by the introduction of coinage in about 680. Documents show that this new social class created added tensions between the now wealthy merchants, and members of the traditional aristocratic social order which now felt threatened by the new wealth of merchants, many of which were also ambitious for political power and used their wealth to attain great political influence. Overall however the increased stability and peaceful rule under the Murmeans led to rapidly increasing populations in the 8th and 7th centuries BC had resulted in emigration of many Murmean peoples to form new settlements and states further south. This shift in power from north to south eventually led to the Murmeans moving their capital city, to what is present day Arcanium.
As the Murmean kingdom expanded ever larger, its previous system of governance became more and more strained as frontier client kingdoms would often rebel wanting more autonomy over their lands, and the growing merchant class demanded an ever larger say and influence in politics. This led to the Murmean king Amsu Mekhari establishing the regio terram system which was essentially a more structured feudal system than those used by the Agnathio or Tryris. Family members and distinguished warriors, as well as some of the most wealthy members of Murmean society were given land, and specific titles which carried with them codifed levels of authority over the lands they were given by the royal family, the regio terram system essentially turned the Murmean kingdom into a a decentralized system of confederation-like government with a strict social hierarchy of the ruling family, nobles, lesser nobles and wealthy merchants or tradesmen, and commoners at the lowest rung.
The Murmean Confederacy (722 – 256 BCE)
Over time, this decentralized system became strained as the familial relationships between the Murmean kings and the regional dynasties which the new system of government established. Peripheral territories developed local power and prestige that began to rival that of the Murmean royal line, and the familial relationships between the client states and the Murmean royal family would become thinned as the generations progressed, further weakening the concept of familial loyalty to the Murmean rulers.
At the same time these peripheral client states began to fight with one another, with larger more powerful states essentially annexing smaller ones, and placing their own dynastic lines on the conquered thrones, still other states were broken up into numerous smaller territories when infighting between vassal dynasties began leaving local strongmen in charge of small regions sometimes no bigger than a single fortified village.
Eventually larger states would annex the smaller weaker ones, and in some instances after achieving a certain level of prestige and power vassals would declare themselves independent of Murmean rule. The Murmeans would then launch wars against these rebellions, while initially successful in quelling them, as more and more vassals declared themselves independent Murmean authority continued to rapidly decline. Eventually the Murmean kingdom was partitioned up into nine distinct kingdoms with the head of each kingdom, declaring themselves King and shedding the facade of subservience to the Murmeans entirely.
The Nine Kingdoms (256 BCE – 221 BCE)
While the Murmean kingdom still technically existed, the Murmean king was a title only and held no real authority outside of the Kingdom of Murmea proper. The nine kingdoms: Murmean, Daradan, Tarentus, Laphis, Arketes, Agatone, Keuken, Suberei, Imhoden would each consolidate their authority within their respective areas of control. The period would see near constant fighting between the nine kingdoms, and smaller client realms, with multiple rulers declaring themselves to be sent by the divine to conquer the other kingdoms to justify their military campaigns.
During the time of the nine kingdoms, the larger coastal kingdoms, of Tarentus, Arketes, and Imhoden, gained significant power while the smaller more centrally located kingdoms of Murmean, Daradan, Laphis, Keuken, Agatone, and Suberei typically served as satellites and tributaries to the larger kingdoms.
Of the three largest kingdoms the most effective at doing so were the Tarentae, under Agies Varenus who reformed the kingdom of Tarentus to centralize its power structure. The state consisted of 16 prefectures with Varenus and three senior ministers each in charge of four prefectures; Varenus also combined military offices and duties with civil ones. These reforms provided the Tarentus, already powerful from control of trade crossroads through the lower Masali valley and along the river itself and the coastal areas around the Tarentae capital of Tarentum, provided the kingdom with a greater ability to mobilize resources than the more loosely organized kingdoms.
As neighboring kingdoms, were annexed by the Tarentae, they too would be reformed and had placed under the new Tarentae system of administration system of prefecture and combination of military and civil positions.
The nine kingdoms period would end following the conquest of the other nine kingdoms by the Tarentae king Kaelon Atticus in 221 BCE establishing the first empire of Tarentum a territory extending throughout all of what is today north eastern Zahava.
First imperial era
The Imperial era of Zahavan history would see the emergence of several city states, namely Arcanium, Iocanthos, Calixium, Tarentum, and Ephisia establish themselves and come to control sizeable amounts of territory and at the beggining of the Imperial era these city states would bring about a halt to the constant warfare as trade and diplomacy were most often preferred and wealth would be used in the place of conquest. This peace was relatively short lived as before long rivalries and greed would compell the city states to fight one another, with different groups of city states sometimes banding together, either by mutual agreement or in the case of the Arcanic league by coercion, and together these city states and their hegemons would fight one another for control of more valuable land.
The warring between the city states would have disasterous results for the civilizations that comprised them, as years of warfare would weaken the city states, leaving their territories open to invasion, and indeed some southern states such as the state of Ephisia launched several successful raiding campaigns into northeastern and central Zahava, although they did not attempt to conquer and subjugate the areas. These raids had the effect of, at least temporarily, uniting some of the northern city states against the southern Ephisian lef hegemony, leading to a long series of wars between the two groups.
Again these conflicts would ultimately weaken all the city states of Zahava, and when the technologically advanced but disorganized Zahavite peoples were unified under one ruler it made their conquests of the Zahavan mainlaind relatively easy. The Zahavite peoples were a known merciless and brutal seafairing raider civilization but to the suprise of many they were quick to implement measures to assimilate the peoples of their newly conquered territories, the result being for the first time a true and new national identify of being Zahavan was established, and due to the largely fair treatment of conquered peoples the Zahavite territory was able to find stability, and continue to grow in strength being focused primarily in the southeast and south central regions of modern day Zahava.
As the Zahavite empire grew in influence and wealth, it would come into conflict with the still powerful city states of the north east, culiminating in the first, second, third, and finally fourth Zahavite arcanic wars which would see the city of Arcanium itself conquered by the Zahavites, and shortly after the Zahavite subjugation of all the Zahavan coastal states as well as territory extending deep into central modern day Zahava.
The first Zahavite empire would be proclaimed and would last for almost 500 years as the process of assimiliation started by Kalliston was continued, and a number of c cornerstones would be cemented in zahavan culture, particularly the Zahavan pantheon, the foundation for the code of laws and rights of citizens, non-citizens, women, and slaves. The Zahavite military would also be completely reformed over the course of its existence, eventually becoming a fully professional standing military, among the earliest such organizations in the world and one that would allow the Zahavite empire to launch a number of successful campaigns against its neighbors, and in the western reaches of modern day Zahava.
The rapid expansion of the empire destabilized its social organization and triggered unrest, which ultimately led to political violence, unrest in the provinces, and the rise of strongmen, like Verus Caspean, Astartus, and Eteokles. Military commanders who turned their military successes into political power. The rapid expansion of the empire also brought about a significant increase in the number of slaves, resulting in several slave rebellions that eventually led to further social reforms. A series of internal conflicts would break out, namely between the empire and client states, which felt they contributed much towards the empire's conquests against neighboring states, but shared little in the rewards. Verus caspean, an Arcanic native would defect from the empire to lead an Arcanic revival faction in the first of three civil wars, the last culminating when Eteokles, would defeat astartus, an ethnic Iocanthoi who had claimed the imperial throne through marriage through a distant cousin of the Imperial family upon the death of Emperor Ursinus who died heirless.
After defeating Astartus, Eteokles would assume the imperial throne, and ammend the process of secession and imperial authority. Eteokles created a new positon, the ecclasiarch which, as a member of the divine either via divine ancestry, or by serving as a vessel for the hero Zahavarius' soul the emperor would now also serve as the head of the Zahavan faith, a position that was also hereditary and would be passed on to the chosen successor.
This action had the affect of strengthening the heirs postion, as it was now established that the emperor, through their divine abilities was able to decree whom would be the next to serve as the vessel of Zahavarius, directly weakening any competeting claimaints ability to claim that the imperial throne was rightfully theres. Another reform enacted by Eteokles was a decree that all government ministers would now be appointed by the emperor and no longer be elected, his transformed the magistrates from representatives of the people to representatives of the emperor further strengthening the imperial polticial position. The latter of these reforms were widely unpopular and after only a few years Eteokles permitted some reforms whereby local officials would be elected, but segmentum governors would remain appointed, and the governors would have the authority to overrule any laws or regulations imposed by local officials at a lower level of government.
The strenghtening of the Imperial government, and other reforms began by Eteokles would eventually lead to the Zahavan Empire entering into an unprecedented level of stability, peace, and prosperity lasting for over two hundred years following the conclusion of these early civil wars. Although there were uprisings in the segmentums during this time they were infrequent but put down mercilessly and swiftly when they did occurr. Coupled with the empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of the first Zahavan empire would have a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, religion, art, architecture, philosophy, law, and forms of government in the territory it governed, and those it came into contact with. This period of prosperity and stability would see great advancements in many forms of technology, particularly in regards to navigation, agriculture, construction, and metallurgy. This period would also see significant population growth, and unprecedented levels of wealth, as well as the expansion of Zahavan culture as merchants and explores established trading settlements all over the Avalonian continent bringing the empire into contact with a number of other civilizations and cultures.
The first empire of Zahava would end in the 5th century, when following a series of natural disasters such as the axarian earthquake, and outbreaks of disease would lead to a crippled military in terms of available manpower, and a severely damaged economy. This crisis led to multiple rebellions, would be usurpers and invasions from neighboring states, the crisis would eventually come to an end with the imperial house greatly reduced in power and the establishment of a new republican form of government which in theory would be giving more authority to the people, in practice however power rested primarily with strong men who had the backing of their military formations under their command, and to the aristocratic classes who held the overwhelming majority of positions in government administration. The Zahavan faith became increasingly more popular as the church, and by association the emperor took on a larger role in providing social welfare for the masses of commoners and peasants which found themselves largely neglected by the republican government at least at the highest levels.
Empire of Tarentum (221 BCE – 206 BCE)
The centralized power structure established by Varenus had given Tarentum a significant advantage over the other kingdoms, culminating in the Tarentum conquest of the remaining kingdoms, and other smaller client states, with the Tarentae king Kaelon Atticus declaring themselves emperor in 221 BCE. Atticus in an effort to establish stability and peace decided not to persecute the citizens of the newly conquered territories and force Tarentae culture onto them, instead Atticus adopted many customs and particularly religious practices from the conquered regions, establishing the first pantheon, and himself being crowned Emperor through a series of rituals, one for each of kingdoms as a sign that Atticus' Imperial title was approved by all the gods, and not just his own. Despite his efforts upon Atticus' death the empire would be weakened by infighting leaving it susceptible to attack from outsiders, which would ultimately bring about the downfall of the Tarentae empire.
By most standards the empire of Tarentum is a short lived one, lasting officially only fifteen years. The empire still had a profound effect on future Zahava, its political structure while flawed, established the framework for a strong centralized government with the creation of multiple magistrates and ministers to address the various government administrative needs.
Public works projects that the Tarentae government had been undertaking, even wile fighting wars of conquest had resulted in a number of roads, bridges, dams, improved irrigation and other agricultural advancements. This allowed further increased food production, established more effiecent means of trade and travel from one place to another, particularly for the Tarentae military as it continued to subdue neighboring kingdoms. After taking over an area the Tarentae would proceed with the establishment of small towns, fortified cities, and trade posts along the coast and at strategically important areas which allowed the Tarentae to secure their expanding conquests and provide a platform from which stable control over the newly conquered region could be established and maintained.
The Tarentae established an official currency and established set prices for certain goods. The Tarentae also were important in other aspects of what would become Zahavan life establishing the early basis for numerous laws regarding property, and codified the rights and legal protections of citizens, non-citizens, and even slaves. The empire of Tarentum was also the first Zahavan civilization to establish the earliest version of the modern day Zahavan pantheon, combining the numerous religious deities, rituals, and other religious practices from among the varying states that now made up the empire, this new religion gave the first uniquely Zahavan identity to the people who inhabited the area.
The Tarentae empire was not without fault however, secession for the Imperial seat, and regional governorship was never clearly established and aristocratic dynasties often schemed and fought one another in efforts to gain influence or control over territories fragmenting what would otherwise be a unified and strong state. This fragmentation, would yet again lead to the downfall of an early Zahavan civilization
City States Period (206 BCE – 160 BCE)
As the Empire of Tarentum crumbled with an ever increasing number of claimants declaring themselves emperor, the political landscape of the Zahavan world started to return to the warring city states periods of centuries previous. Still there were key differences between the city state period, and earlier variations, due to the success and long reign of the Murmean state, most city states now shared a common language, script and the same standards for exchange of goods for currency. Still each city state developed its own laws, moral and social norms, varying architecture, religious practices and military equipment and tactics. Compared to previous eras the city states period, is considered to be significantly more peaceful than previous times, although a number of significant campaigns are noted during this time as well, largely due to still growing populations and a desire for more profitable fertile land by a number of Zahavan city states.
Another key development during this period were a number of serious raiding campaigns by Zahavan kingdoms in the south against central city states, while these raids were not campaigns of conquest, they did result in significant damage in terms of loss of manpwoer and the destruction of property including the razing of several settlements belonging to several central and northern states. Arcanium itself was besieged twice during this period by the southern Kingdom of Ephisia both times bribing the Ephisians to withdraw and end their siege. A third campaign by the Ephisians ended in their defeat at the battle of Prasinos river, putting an end to Ephisian attempts to launch any campaigns northward.
The state of Arcanium then formed the Arcanic league, in 190 BCE and was able to establish hegemony over the central coastal states of Nazrah, Seidon, Moirae, and Idumea. Arcanium would then direct the Arcanic leauge in a series of wars against southern zahavan states, fighting the Ephisians, Akragas, Thraxia, and Chalkopolis. This war between the Arcanic leauge, and the Pelagis Union as it became known would last until 184 BCE when, after increased tensions between the neutral state of Iocanthos over Arcanium's growing power to the south, led to the Iocanthos king Abdle Caphen encouraging a number of settlements in the leauge to revolt against Arcanic rule, leading to open war between Arcanium and its supporters and Iocanthos and the league rebellious states. The conflict would be devastating for both sides, with Arcanium eventually emerging victorious after achieving a naval victory in the bay of stygia signing a peace treaty in 176 BCE.
In 174 BCE a series of famines and multiple outbreaks of plague would ravage many of the Zahavan city states, and the peace between the Arcanic leauge and Iocanthos would be short lived as hostilities would once again breakout between the two groups. This time the Arcanic forces were beaten at the battle of Herkilia, resulting in the defection of Moirae from the leauge to joining with Iocanthos forces. In 165 BCE Arcanium, ravaged by years of war and multiple plagues, including one which had killed the Arcanic king, and both his heirs was forced to concede and agreed to break up the Arcanic league.
With Arcanium now deprived of much of its land, and its client states which it relied on heavily for labor, trade goods, and manpower for its military Arcanium, for a time, would slide into being a second rate power in Zahava. The losses to all the great city-states during the Iocanthos and Arcanic league wars had been so devastating that no single state could dominate the others in the aftermath.
Invasion of Zahavites ( 160 BCE - 27 BCE)
The Zahavites were a warlike seafaring people, who occupied an untold number of islands up and down the eastern Avalonian coast including parts of Kharmedia, Craetes, and Deimos. The Zahavites had also established a number of coastal settlements, serving as bases and trading posts for trading goods between different Zahavite tribes. The Zahavites, like many other cultures around Zahava were a semi-unified peoples, with each individual community largely acting independently. This would change in 172 BCE the Zahavite nobleman Menes Kalliston rose to power. Kalliston set about unifying the various tribes of the Zahavites, through a series of marriages, assassinations, and bribes. The Zahavites, now unified under Kalliston's banner would embark on a campaign that would change the course of Zahavan history tremendously.
In 160 BCE Kalliston and his large Zahavite force landed at the mouth of the Sortria river, using their technologically advanced ships the Zahavites sailed up the river after scouting the area and attacked the city of Cestrus, taking the city with little effort. Kalliston wasted little time, taking his force further inland and taking the city of Thraxia only a couple of weeks later, again with little effort. The dis-unified nature of the Zahavan city states, which were still ravaged by infighting and disease allowed Kalliston to conquer several states quickly, and fight them individually, as news of the Zahavite conquests and military prowess spread, Kalliston found he was able to coerce weaker states into submission by the mere threat of war, thus rapidly expanding the Zahavite territory.
Kalliston turned his attentions to the south, having established a base along the Sortris river valley, moving to besiege the city of Ephisia in 157 BCE. In an attempt to break the siege the Zahavites sent emissaries into Ephisia demanding their surrender but guaranteeing the safety of the garrison and citizens. Ephisia's ruler Etiad Sellion stalled the talks, and attempted to use the talks of surrender as a cover to mobilize other allies. Messengers of Sellion were intercepted by Kalliston's army and all talks were immediately ceased. After a nearly year long siege, Sellion finally surrendered the city, accepting Kalliston's previous terms. Unknown to Sellion however, his treachery would cost him, and his people dearly. The Zahavites took the royal family and a number of Ephisian nobles and other court members immediately putting them in chains as slaves, the Zahavites then pillaged the city for several weeks slaughtering many of the inhabitants and all members of the garrison, Sellion himself was killed after being taken back to Thraxia, the current Zahavite capital at the conclusion of a celebratory parade where Kalliston himself then beat Sellion to death with a ritual hammer used specifically for religious rites.
The Zahavites then turned their attention to Akragas in 152 BCE, the city having heard word of Ephisia's fate surrendered without a fight, and its citizens and ruling class were spared. In just under a decade Kalliston had subjugated all the states of modern day Pelagis and Austellum segmentums, along with all of the southeastern regions of the Tumultum segmentum.
Kalliston set about consolidating his gains, enacting a number of reforms which were both beneficial, and popular with the conquered people, first Kalliston decreed that religious freedom would be permitted in all Zahavite territories, like Atticus before him Kalliston adopted and encouraged members of his court to adopt local customs, and Kalliston added the Zahavite deities, to the domestic proto-zahavan pantheon, conducting rituals to honor each while at the same time establishing one of the earliest models of a state education system, all children regardless of social class were educated at Zahavite temples, the effect being a gradual decline in the importance of local deities, while Zahavite deities were gradually elevated in importance. Modern scholars believe that the mythical Zahavarius is in fact Kalliston, as there are numerous records which indicate that Kalliston made claims that he ruled and conquered as his sacred divine duty, and to settle the issue of secession he declared, and had priests support his claim that his bloodline itself was both a descendant of the divine, and thusly favored by the gods. Overtime the new pantheon took on the first iterations of the modern zahavan pantheon, including the myth of Zahavarius, whom it was now believed the Zahavites were descendants of, a belief often used to elevate ethnic Zahavites over conquered peoples in the social hierarchy.
Other reforms Kalliston implemented were additional social reforms, such as prohibition on a debtor's person being used as security for a loan, the abolition of extravagant dowries, the freeing and prohibition of any Zahavan citizen to be enslaved with the exception being those who were placed into bondage as punishment for a crime, and the disenfranchisement of any citizen who might refuse to take up arms in times of civil strife, and war. Kalliston also encouraged inter marriage between Zahavite and conquered peoples
The economy was also reformed encouraged, foreign tradesmen were invited to settle within the zahavite kingdom, and if they brought their families with them they could be granted citizenship. Kalliston commissioned the construction of many more naval vessels, but not just warships but also large barges to carry goods both up and down the coast, and up and down the vast river network. Kalliston also again standardized coinage across the zahavite realm and updated the weights and measures used on Zahavan goods to make them more competitive with the goods from neighboring states.
Kalliston ordered the construction, or rebuilding of a number of fortified settlements, the repaving of roadways and the establishment of checkpoints along the riverways under Zahavite control. Kalliston also began to establish military reforms opening service in the Zahavite army to any landowning citizen and no longer requiring Zahavite ethnic background for service, and in 140 BCE moved the Zahavite capital to Ephisia which Kalliston had also had rebuilt.
The reforms allowed the assimilation and mixing of Zahavite and early zahavan cultures, which overtime had the effect of providing stability to the growing areas under Zahavite control. By 131 BCE the Zahavite territory had come to include areas of what is today known as the Zimisces valley, as well as the upper Mageiaus. Kalliston then embarked on a campaign to head northwards, with the goal of taking the city of Nazrah but in 128 BCE Kalliston fell ill, and then died shortly thereafter. What followed was an outbreak of plague that lasted two years, resulting in a halt of zahavite expansion, as well as the ascension of Kalliston's eldest son Ilitoias Vastorius taking the Zahavite throne. Like his father Vastorius encouraged the mixing of cultures, and had his ascension confirmed by the religious orders. Still in 120 BCE a revolt, led by unnamed nobles belonging to pre-Zahavite states led a rebellion against Vastorius, the rebellion was short lived as records indicate several of the nobles were captured, and then ritually executed with a hammer by Vastorius in the same manner the Ephisian kind Sellion had been.
The Zahavite conquests to the south, had not been unnoticed by the Zahavan city states in the northern areas of the country, Arcanium, used fears of Zahavite invasion to reform the Arcanic league, much to the dismay of Iocanthos Selenopolis, and Calixium, the latter of which found itself in conflict with the league due to its refusal to cede lands to the league state of cesstium. When the rulers of Iocanthos and Selenopolis did nothing, the rulers of Calixium sent envoys to Vastorius asking for aid. Vastorius responded quickly, using the call for aid as a casus belli, and proclaiming himself a liberator began to march north thus starting the first Zahavite-Arcanic war.
First Zahavite Empire ( 27 BCE – CE 497)
Expansion into Avalonia( 14 CE - 217 CE)
Pax Zahava (217 CE - 420 CE)
The time known as the Pax Zahava, or domestically known as the Magna Imperium, was a 203 year period of unprecedented political and social stability in the Zahavan empire. During this period there were no large scale wars, or serious usurpers attempting to claim the imperial throne. The peace and stability allowed people of the empire to devote more time towards other activities, and it is during this time that a number of schools, libraries, and other centers for science are established by a number of wealthy, influential citizens, or by intellectuals on behalf of their patrons.
The establishment of these centers of learning spurred on development in other areas of science such as in the study of mathematics. Documents from the first empire include examples of solving problems with right-angle triangles, square roots, cube roots, and matrix methods, finding more accurate approximations for pi, providing mathematical proof of the Pythagorean theorem, use of the decimal fraction, Gaussian elimination to solve linear equations, and continued fractions to find the roots of equations. In addition to this the acceptance of negative numbers became widespread despite their previous use. Mathematics was applied to other fields, such as music and was used to solve practical problems in the time such as division of land or problems related to division of payment as well as to calculate area and volume and for use in engineering and construction projects
This focus on education would see a rapid expansion in the amount, and quality of Zahavan art, architecture, and other craft trades. This was furthered by advancements in technology such as the improvement and building of mills, aqueducts, and other hydro engineering projects which would further control flooding and allow for more land to be cultivated. Other technologies were developed and improved upon, water wheels became common use, and were used to power a number of things from grain to saw mills, strict government enforcement over the rotation of crops, and distributions of fertilizers ensured soil quality was maintained.
The government also implemented a system whereby land was divided up along a grid, with the central grid belonging to the state, and the other grids belonging to the farmers who worked them, this was applied only to imperial estates only while other systems such as tenant farming continued on private estates. This system allowed the government to stockpile food, and when one or more regions would experience famine ensure the distribution of food would still be possible. Other improvements included the development of an automatic harvester which could harvest grains by cutting the ears of the grain without the straw that was pushed by livestock.
In areas where the terrain was unsuitable for standard flat fields Zahavans developed the pit field system where crops were grown in heavily fertilized pits that did not require plows or oxen and could be placed on sloping terrain. In areas where irrigation was poor or flooding was still common Zahavans implemented the paddy field system which were chiefly used to grow rice.
Other technological advances included the development of new building materials. Under previous civilizations, timber, clay, mortat and stone were the primary building materials used. These materials were readily available but, in the case of timber in particular did not allow for the creation of long lasting or particularly complex structures to be built with a good portion of time having to be devoted to repairs, and upkeep of structures. This would change with the advent of concrete. Zahavan construction workers discovered a new material which could be considered an early form of concrete.
This early concrete was made of hydrated lime with was then mixed with sand and water. The Zahavans discovered that substituting or supplementing the sand with a pozzolanic additive, such as rice husk ash, would produce a very hard cement. This hardened cement allowed the constructions of buildings, roadways, bridges, and other structures that have been able to last into modern times. Bricks were often made from this concrete, and could be cut into a variety of shapes and sizes allowing them to be used in the construction of numerous different structures such as the use of curved bricks to create columns, or form the arches for bridges, or rectangular, square, and triangle bricks that were often used in the construction of walls.
While roads had been an earlier development going back as far as the Murmean Kingdom, during the Pax Zahava roadways, and road construction was standardized with their width and approved materials. Whereas before in previous eras road construction was typically left to merchants, and landowners since the earlier Zahavite conquests the development, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure had become projects undertaken by the state. Roads were to be constructed to be immune to floods and other environmental hazards the routes the roads would take were extensively surveyed and and planned requiring government approval before any construction could begin. So good were the Zahavite surveyors that many of the modern roads in use today follow nearly the same routes of those established during the first empire.
The highest quality roads, those deemed the Imperial roads, consisted of several layers typically between five and six layers in all. First a cut would be dug along the approved route, with surveyors present to ensure the route was not altered. This cut would then be cleaned out, leveled, and then rammed tight before a layer of mortar, an inch thick would be placed over the leveled earth.
Following this a layer of stones bounded together with clay was placed, these stones were then covered in a layer of concrete with this layer collectively being about a foot thick. After this a layer of broken stones, pottery, shells, and sand would be placed again mixed with cement and mortar. The next layer was made of twelve to eighteen inches of successively laid and rolled layers of concrete on top of which the top layer, consisting of smoothed cut paving bricks bound together with mortar and concrete were placed.
The paving bricks were cut in a way so that the center line of the road would be slightly elevated giving the roadway a slight upside down U shape this was so that water would drain off the roadway during heavy rains and prevent the roadway from becoming flooded. On the ends of either side of the road edge stones would be put in place to prevent the rest of the road from shifting, these edge stones would have small grooves cut into them that would serve as miniature aqueducts, with every five to six feet the edge stone would have a cut in it, allowing the water to flow off the road and into one of two drainage ditches that were constructed along with the roadway itself.
Should a roadway come to a natural obstacle such as a river way, or hill it was the preferred practice that the Zahavans figure out an engineering solution rather than attempt to circumvent the obstacle and alter the roadways route. Bridges were constructed over all sizes of waterway; marshy ground was handled by the construction of raised causeways with firm foundations; hills and outcroppings were frequently cut or tunneled through rather than avoided.
Advancements were made in metallurgy as well with evidence showing the production of wrought iron, and improved methods of refining cast iron through the use of blast and cupola furnaces. This wrought iron could also be converted it into steel through the use of fining. Zahavans used bronze and iron to make a range of weapons, culinary tools, carpenters' tools and domestic wares. A significant product of these improved iron-smelting techniques was the manufacture of new agricultural tools. The iron seed drill, invented by the 2nd century BC, enabled farmers to carefully plant crops in rows instead of casting seeds out by hand, improved plows reduced the number of people needed to operate it, and was more efficient allowing for a much larger area of land to be cultivated than had previously been possible.
Crisis of the 5th Century (420 CE - 497 CE)
Republic Era (497 CE - 804 CE)
The republic era of Zahava would see a gradual decentralization in government, until essentially each segmentum was its own state, held together in a loose confederation with each state having its own senate and other legislative bodies or assemblies. The republic era would technically end in 700 CE when segmentum military commanders, who typically presided over the segmentums as elected officials called Tetrarchs would abolish or weaken the segmentum assemblies instead centralizing power around themselves some of which would form hereditary lines of succession and effectively re-establishing the city state eras of old. The key difference between the Tetrarch era and the previous city state era is that now all of the states within modern day zahava shared one culture, language, and had similar laws, social norms, religion and other shared cultural aspects.
The tetrarch rule would come to end when the tetrarch Zimisces I managed to campaign successfully against the other semgmentums unifying them all under his rule. Zimices would then declare himself emperor and begin the Zimisces dynasty as the first dynasty of the second Zahavan empire.
Confederation (618 CE - 700 CE)
Tetrarch Rule(700 CE - 804 CE)
Second imperial era
Zimisces Dynasty (804 CE - 976 CE)
Lytanus Dynasty (976 CE – 1025 CE)
Etiad Dynasty (1025 CE – 1055 CE)
Crisis and Fragmentation (1055 CE - 1081 CE)
Second Tetrarch Era (1055 CE - 1081 CE)
Third imperial era
Reunification (1081 CE – 1118 CE)
Bericosian Dynasty (1120 CE - 1282 CE)
Antinius Dynasty (1282 CE - 1368 CE)
Conquest and consolidation (1368 CE - 1459 CE)
Expansion abroad (1410 CE - 1790 CE)
Conglomerate Wars (1459 CE - 1509 CE)
Reformation (1511 CE - 1537 CE)
Imperialis Secundus (1537 CE - Present)
Zahavan Dominion( 1537 CE - 1883 CE)
Zahava occupies a large area on the eastern coast of Avalonia and extends deep into the continental interior. Zahava shares land borders with Albaterra to the west, Kaya to the south, and SiWallqanqa to the South West in addition to these it shares a maritime border with Agrana y Griegro via the isle of Trinidad.
The majority of Zahava lies between the equator and the tropic of Capricorn although the northern most sections of the country lie on or above the equator. At 2,368,896 km2 it is the third largest country in the world. Zahavan topography is also diverse and includes hills, mountains, plains, highlands, and scrublands.
Much of the terrain lies between 100-200 meters in elevation with the south west areas being mountainous with terrain ranging from 300 to 5000 meters with Mount Empion being the highest point in the country at 5033 meters. The east coast, and much of the interior areas are dominated by tropical forests, most of which comprise the Cyrene Rainforest and tropical savanna on low lying generally flat terrain with scattered rocky highlands, or plateaus. The southern coast is broken up with a transitional palm forest surrounded by yet more tropic and subtropic savanna leading to an extensive area of wetlands and marshes around lake Myddenia.
The southern regions are more rugged, dominated by subtropical savanna and thorny almost impassable shrubland scattered among broad rolling terrain broken up by low, rounded hills and occasional ravines and plateaus.
The western regions are dominated by a complex mass of ridges and mountain ranges, which at their lower elevations are covered in subtropical shrubland, and valleys of grassland. To the northwest there is a large swath of tropical steppe created due to heavy deforestation in the area, although some areas of the natural thicket and scrubland have been preserved.
Zahava has a dense and complex river system, with several major drainage basins that empty into the Iapetus Ocean. Major rivers include the Mageiaus, Laphis, and Masali.
Zahava has is flanked to the east by the south Iapetus ocean, and has four important bays Arcanium bay, the bay of Stygia, Osirix bay, and the bay of Phyressia and two important lakes, lake myddenia and lake Qhantati. Lake Qhantati serves as in important gateway and crossroads for trade goods and travel from Zahava into the interior of southwestern avalonia. Zahava also has an extensive river system with the Mageiaus and Masali being the longest and most important.
The area around Myddenia Lake have a large number of mangroves, and swamp forests as well as wetlands which are both important areas for Zahavan ecosystems. The wetlands also serve as the fresh water supply for the city of Barca and extensive preservation restoration projects have been undertaken to safeguard the wetlands environment due to its crucial role in determining the quality of life in the city. Due to the large variety of wildlife found in these wetland areas tourist expeditions using airboats have become popular in more recent times. The Myddenia Lake itself is an important source of fresh water and is a popular destination and gathering place for spa and bathhouse culture.
Along the Zahavan coast are a number of lagoons, which are crossed by numerous canals, and provide docking for a large number of marinas which are vital to the zahavan sailing and recreational boating culture and are also popular swimming and bathing destinations important to the tourist industry in Zahava.
Zahava is a megadiverse country due to its large size, and the numerous unique ecosystems the high biological diversity, and having many species of flora and fauna which are exclusively indigenous, or endemic to the country. Zahava has (55,000) known species of plants, (3,000) freshwater fish , and (over 700) documented species of mammals, over (1,900) different species of birds, and over (750) species of reptiles, the number of fungi species is extensive but unknown as of 2020. There are (1107) known species of non-marine molluscs living in the wild in Zahava, and in some regions of the country the second largest spider in the world, the Goliath birdeater can be found. It is estimated that Zahava has over 70,000 species of insects, with some estimates ranging up to 15 million, there are more new species of insect found in zahava almost daily. One report estimated between 50,000 and 60,000 species of insects and spiders in a single hectare of rain forest.
Zahava has over (1,900) different species of bird, of which 200 are endemic to Zahava. There are over 70 species of parrots alone, with many others that include birds ranging from brightly colored parrots, toucans, and trogons to flamingos, ducks, vultures, hawks, eagles, owls, swans, and hummingbirds. Flightless birds have also been found in Zahava similar to an emu in appearance but slightly smaller in size.
Zahava has a recorded number of over 3,000 identified species of freshwater fish and over 500 species of amphibians, including river dolphins, poison arrow frogs, toads, tetras, catfish, and cichlids among others. With a large number of saltwater species being found off the coast ranging from reef fish, sharks, sea snakes, eels, crustaceans, porpoises, dolphins, and whales.
Zahava has 55,000 recorded plant species, about 35% of these species are endemic to Zahava. Zahava is also home to tropical and subtropical moist forests, tropical dry forests, tropical savannas, and mangrove forests. The Myddenia region is a wetland, and home to a known 3,500 species of plants, all over Zahava are many various species of Orchid, the leopard Orchid being the national flower. Zahava is also home to a number of carnivorous plants which have evolved to eat insects due to the poor soil quality found in some regions.
The Cyrene Rainforest is one of the largest such forests in the world, and has among the greatest levels biological diversity of any particular biome in the world. The rich wildlife of Zahava reflects the variety of natural habitats found within its borders. The Imperial Zoology and Natural Sciences Institute estimate that the total number of plant and animal species in Zahava could be well over four million.
Some of the larger mammals found in Zahava include the carnivores such as the tiger, lion, Avalonian Wild Dog, puma, jaguar, various types of leopards, ocelots and foxes. Large mammal herbivores include elephants, wild pigs, tapirs, anteaters, sloths, opossums, armadillos various types of deer/elk, wild horses, rhinoceros, various types of monkeys,squirrels and rodents, and several types of bovines.
Zahava is home to roughly 1800 different species of bird, of which some 240 are endemic. The types of birds vary greatly from raptors, the largest being the Haast's eagle, considered sacred to the people of Zahava, and is the inspiration for the image of a two headed eagle which adorns the official seal of the country, and the current symbol dynasty holding the Imperial house. Other raptors include
Conservation in Zahava
In 1990, due to growing popular pressure for more environmental protection measures to be taken the Imperial government established the Imperial Ministry of Conservation, with the decree that created the ministry stating the Imperial government would take strides towards an ecologically balanced environment and empowers the ministry of conservation with the responsibility of protecting and preserving the natural Zahavan environment.
In order to have flexibility on its land use policies, the MIC has created a dynamic system of regulations that promote and require sustainability practices be implemented. These frameworks offer the community the possibility to participate in decision-making and to apply financial mechanisms that make the system viable, as well as encouraging the conservation of natural environments primarily through financial motivations.
The MIC has also set strict forestry regulations and land use regulations particularly for rural farms, the MIC stipulates that 50% of each private property must be managed as reserve and is to retain its natural composition and constitution. In 2000 this percentage was increased to 80% of all private property must be preserved in its natural composition. Punishments for violations fr breaking the foresty and land regulations include increasing fines, based on the percentage of land in violation, and for severe offenders immediate seizure of property.
The government's decision to invest heavily in ethanol as a fuel source has been cited as greatly contributing to the countries reduction in co2 emissions. In 2020 Zahava produced 21.1 billion liters of ethanol (5.57 billion liquid gallons). Many government fleets of vehicles have become, or are scheduled to become 100% ethanol fueled by the end of 2021. The widespread use and production of ethanol has had substantial benefits for Zahava's economy and environment. Using modern equipment and cheap sugar cane as feedstock, residual cane-waste is used to produce heat and power, resulting in competitive prices for energy. The balance of energy, or the input vs. output of energy, is extremely high when using this method and results anywhere from 8.3 (average conditions) and 10.1 (optimum). This creates an almost negative energy balance that actually reduces more carbon emissions in the atmosphere as the sugarcane is growing than it produces when it is being burned. This also cuts down substantially on the Zahavan need to import fuels for energy use, allowing the state to become closer to full energy independence.
Studies have shown that up to 85% of greenhouse gas emissions are cut because of the switch from gasoline, with this percentage expected to increase as government mandates require more and more vehicles and other sources of co2 emissions to adopt the use of biofuels. The use of ethanol has not gone without its downsides however as land use, with specific regard to growing sugarcane, remains a concern for the environment.
The climate of Zahava comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large area and varied topography, but most of the country is tropical. According to the Köppen system, Zahava hosts six major climatic subtypes: tropical, tropical wet climate, tropical savanna, semi-arid, subtropical and alpine. The different climatic conditions produce environments ranging from equatorial rain forests in the north and semiarid deserts in the west, to temperate coniferous forests in the southwest and tropical savannas in central Zahava. Many regions have starkly different microclimates.
An equatorial climate characterizes much of northern Zahava. There is no real dry season, but there are some variations in the period of the year when most rain falls. Temperatures average 25 °C (77 °F), with more significant temperature variation between night and day than between seasons.
Over central Zahava rainfall is more seasonal, characteristic of a savanna climate. This region is as extensive as the tropical basins of the Masali and Mageiaus but has a very different climate as it lies farther south at a higher altitude. Along much of the central and southern coast, seasonal rainfall is even more extreme.
The semiarid climatic region, located in the far western reaches of the Zapadis segmentum generally receives less than 800 millimetres (31.5 in) of rain, most of which generally falls in a period of three to five months of the year and occasionally less than this, creating long periods of drought. Droughts have had their impact lessened in modern times due to extensive irrigation and water conservation projects undertaken by the government.
The southern regions of Zahava are predominately savanna skirted by humid subtropical areas to the west as one approaches the Ophelion mountain range, near the coasts, the distribution of rainfall changes, with rain falling throughout the year. Parts of the south, mainly in the foothill areas of the Ophelion mountain range enjoy subtropical conditions, with cool winters and average annual temperatures not exceeding 18 °C (64.4 °F); winter frosts and snowfall are not rare in the highest areas, and much of the Ophelion mountain range has an alpine climate.
Politics and Government
Zahava is a unitary state and a constitutional monarchy, where the powers of the Emperor are limited to a degree by constitutional restrictions. The emperor serves largely as head of state, and head of the Zahavan polytheistic religion, while the Archon serves as head of government and exercises executive authority through the cabinet which consists of the heads of the various government ministries and is overseen by the chief minister who is appointed by the Archon.
Governance and Administration
The Imperium is broken up into several smaller administrative divisions:
- The Imperium: This is the highest level of governance, and maintains authority over all Zahavan territories and people. The highest elected office is the Archon, whose appointment comes from the Imperial Senate, and is confirmed by the Emperor, the Emperor also reserves the ability to call for new elections for the office of Archon. The Archon oversees the Imperial Senate, and can veto legislation from the senate. The various government ministry and department heads report to the Archon. Additionally at the Imperial level are the Ordo Templi, which ensures no law or act agreed to by the Imperial government violates religious tenants, and the Imperial court, which serves as the highest court in the Imperium
- Segmentums: The largest administrative division, Segmentums are headed by a Segmentarch, who is appointed by the Segmentum's councilum, essentially a segmentum level senate. The Segmentarch oversees and has limited veto powers over the Segmentum's councilium. The Segmentums councilum also elects members who will serve as the Segmentum's representatives in the Imperial senate. At this level are the Segmentum courts, which carry out judicial administration across the whole of the Segmentum
- Prefecture: Prefectures are a further subdivision of Segmentums. Prefectures are themselves established, or dissolved by the Segmentum's Councilium. Prefectures are headed by a Vicar, who is appointed by the Segmentarch, and oversees and has veto powers over the Prefecture councilium. The Prefecture councilum is made up of enfranchised persons, who reside within the established boundaries of the Prefecture. For Judicial administration there are Prefecture courts, which are established by the Segmentum courts.
- Polis: The polis is the smallest subdivision of government, typically only encompassing the boundaries of a particular city, town, or village. The Polis is governed by the Polis Councilum, which consists of elected persons who also reside within the boundaries of the Polis. The Polis councilium is headed by a Poliarch, who oversees and can veto measures proposed by the Polis Councilium. Some of the larger Polis' have Polis level courts for limited judicial affairs, although the majority of Polis' do not have their own courts, and instead use Prefecture or Segmentum courts for judicial administration
Taxes in Zahava are levied by the Imperial government, the provinces (segmentums) as well as the municipalities (polis). Many direct and indirect taxes exist in Zahava; income tax and value added tax are the most significant.
The legal basis for taxation is established in the Imperial Constitution (Codex Imperialis), which lays out the basic principles governing tax law. Most taxation is decided by the Imperial government and the provinces together, some are allocated solely at the imperial level such as customs dues, some are allocated to the provinces such as excise taxes, and districts and municipalities may enact their own tax laws. Notwithstanding the division of tax law jurisdiction, in practice, 97% of all taxes in Zahava are imposed at the imperial level.
At the imperial level, the government receives tax revenues from residents in the form of individual income tax, property sales taxes, and capital gains. The amount of imperial tax liability may be reduced by various deductions, and mitigated by various allowances such as those for children. Some non-residents are liable in Zahava if they have certain types of income in Zahava, all individuals who are residents in Zahava or have their normal place of residence in Zahava have full income tax liability. All the income earned by these persons both at home and abroad is subject to Zahavan tax. Generally, public and private corporations are liable for taxes in Zahava, with certain exemptions such as charitable foundations and Zahavan religious institutions, foreign religious institutions are taxed in a similar manner as corporations or other organizations. Products and services generated in Zahava are subject to value-added tax or (VAT), with certain exemptions. Other types of tax revenue include real property transfers, inheritance and gift taxes, capital gains, aviation, and motor vehicle taxes.
In 2019, Zahavan tax revenue totaled €623 billion.
Tax revenue is distributed to Zahava's three levels of government: Imperial, provincial and the polis. All of these are jointly entitled to the most important types of tax such as value-added tax and income tax. For this reason, these taxes are also known as "shared taxes". Tax revenue is distributed proportionately using a formula prescribed in the Zahavan Constitution.
The rate of income tax in Zahava ranges from 0% to 45% dependent upon household income. The Zahavan income tax is a progressive tax, which means that the average tax rate that is the ratio of tax and taxable income increases monotonically with increasing taxable income. Moreover, the Zahavan taxation system warrants that an increase in taxable income never results in a decrease of the net income after taxation. Zahavan taxes also include a deductible based upon the social security contributions an individual or household makes.
|Income Over (Single)||Income Over (Married)||Marginal Rate||Effective Rate after Social Security Deduction|
|₳ 9,169||₳ 18,338||14%||0% - 3.63%|
|₳ 14,255||₳ 28,150||24%||3.63% - 14.43%|
|₳ 55,961||₳ 111,922||42%||14.43% - 28.91%|
|₳ 265,327||₳ 530,654||45%||28.91% - 44.99%|
Zahava has been involved to varying degrees in many areas all over the world, from colonial dealings in west kesh in Paseiwa, to trade for valuable wool products from Shepland in the ____ hundreds. Today the Imperium maintains diplomatic missions or embassies in 59 countries, the Imperium has territorial disputes with Agrana y Griegro over the isle of Trinidad. Zahava considers itself an advocate for developing countries, and is strongly in favor of decolonization efforts, particularly in Avalonia.
Much of the Zahavan foreign policy centers on the notion that colonial powers, and their descendant populations should restore authority to native peoples over the lands. This cornerstone of foreign policy occasionally runs counter to the Zahavan policy of harmony without uniformity, which encourages diplomatic relations between states despite ideological differences. The latter having resulted in Zahava supporting and working with states others have regarded as dangerous or repressive.
Zahava is a leading member of the ECOSEAS alliance, and supporter of the World Indigenous People's Organisation. Additionally it allows the International Movement for Socialism to maintain offices in Arcanium, most recently the Imperium, has begun transitioning to occupying a larger international role.
Zahava plays a significant role in Avalonia, particularly in the central and southern reaches of the continent where Zahava was instrumental in assisting in the overthrow of several colonial minority governments through the 1960's and into the modern era. Zahava has also been an important state in Avalonia since times of antiquity, establishing the a colony that would go on to become the state of Cipertine.
Zahava actively promotes a policy of Avalonian unity, and this has been a cornerstone of Zahavan foreign policy on the continent since the 1940s. This policy has led to Zahava supporting governments and other popular movements it would otherwise be ideologically opposed to, particularly if such movements are in opposition to colonial regimes as part of the Avalonian unity policy is to undermine and oppose foreign influence on the continent, against Artemian states in particular. Zahava supports the World Indigenous People's Organisation (WIPO) and regularly funds campaigns in favor of indigenous people's issues all over the continent.
Another pillar of the Avalonian unity movement is the funding and support of various environmental protection initiatives, such as pushing for the use of ethanol fuels, and support of other regulations which would reduce the world's carbon footprint, initiatives for the use of recyclable and biodegradable materials, and for harsh fines to be placed on violators.
Some outsiders have expressed criticism of Zahava's role in modern Avalonian geopolitics calling Zahavan interests in southern Avalonia in particular, a form of Zahavan hegemony.
Zahava has had a presence in western Kesh going back to 1400s before establishing a colony in Pasewia. Beyond standard trading of goods Zahava has had little influence or involvement in eastern Kesh. Zahava has more recently began engaging in talks with several East Kesh states to establish new trade agreements and improve relations. Zahava has also begun laying the groundwork for ECOSEAS KTEC negotiations in hopes of eventually brokering deals on a number of areas of mutual concern and benefit between the two blocs.
Notably Zahava does not maintain relations with Selengeria, this is widely viewed as an attempt at seeking to gain favor with many nations in eastern Kesh, whom are at odds with Selengeria stemming from the Great Kesh war, and other historical grievances. Zahava recognizes Amedi, as a legitimate state and maintains relations with the Amedi government. Zahava does not recognize nor maintain relations with Nasiria.
The amount of Zahavan foreign aid spending has been steadily increasing since the 1950s, in 2019 Zahavan foreign aid totaled 1.2 billion dollars. The overwhelming majority of Zahavan foreign aid has traditionally been spent in Avalonia, providing funding for the construction of infrastructure such as road and railways, telecommunications, and the construction of powerplants, or water treatment facilities. The amount of foreign aid being given to countries in Kesh has experienced a rapid increase, jumping from 7% in 2016 to 35% in 2018, it is expected the amount and percentage of Zahavan foreign aid being directed towards kesh, in particular Kodeshia will continue to increase as Zahava seeks to improve its relations in the region. Zahavan foreign aid includes the sale of arms and other military equipment with Zahava being a major supplier of military equipment especially to a number of ECOSEAS member states and Avalonian countries. Another key feature of military aid abroad is the conducting of several joint military training exercises, and the use of Zahavan specialists in training and assisting in the set up of several domestic intelligence agencies, and training provided in anti insurgency combat operations.
A key policy of Zahavan foreign aid has been to undermine Artemian influence, again primarily in Avalonia and the new policy of expanding Zahavan influence abroad in east kesh in particular.
Zahava enjoys good trade relations with most of the world, its sizeable population, stability, advanced technology
The Imperium of Zahava is involved in a number of territorial disputes, these inlcude:
- The Imperium wholly claims the isle of Trinidad as its own, after Zahavan settlers to the island were pushed out by Agranian colonists
- Border dispute with Albaterra both countries claim, but only Zahava administers the Zapadis region
- Territorial water disputes with Agrana y Griegro in the bay of Phyressia
- A number of small atolls in the Iapetus and Tethys oceans which are nearly occupied nor administered by any one entity
While these territorial disputes remain officially unresolved, they are in modern times minor issues and have not posed any major roadblocks to diplomatic negotiations in over forty years. More recent administrations have made subtle overtures publicly that they may be interested in resolving these disputes through diplomatic means
The Sanctorus Imperialis Militarum sometimes referred to simply as the Militarum, are the armed forces of Zahava under the Archon of Zahava as supreme military commander, while the emperor serves as a ceremonial commander in chief.
The Militarum consists of six service branches, Imperial Army (Imperialis Akritarii) tasked with safeguarding Imperial territory and conducting offensive or defensive land warfare operations, Imperial Navy (Imperialis Nautika) which is tasked with safeguarding Imperial waterways, fisheries, anti-piracy operations and conducting amphibious operations in conjunction with the Imperial army, and the Nautika's sub branch of Naval Infantry (Tibertes), Imperial Air Corps(Imperialis Aeronautica) tasked with conducting aerial warfare, ensuring aerial supremacy over the Imperium and its territories as well as working in support of the imperial navy, imperial army, and other imperial armed forces branches. Frontier Troops (Imperialis Praeceps) which also act as a police force in rural, inaccessible areas of the country primarily in the western regions and the Zapidis segmentum. The Praeceps also have a maritime component responsible for maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement of imperial territorial waters. The Imperial Guard (Ordo Hetaeri), which are the only military formation under the direct authority of the emperor, they are tasked with safeguarding the Imperial family, government officials, foreign dignitaries, and other VIPS, as well as an additional security force for the capital city of Arcanium the last branch of the zahavan imperial armed forces is the newly established Department of Cyberwarfare (Departmentum Cyberarium) tasked with offensive and defensive cyber-warfare operations and domestic and foreign intelligence gathering.
Together they are among the largest armed forces in the world. Units are assigned to one of four theater commands known as Themes which are based on geographic location. The Militarum has an annual budget in excess of 200 billion dollars annually giving it the largest military budget in the world.
While the Praeceps are an integral part of the Zahavan imperial armed forces, they are typically placed under the purview of the ministry of the interior as far as the Praecepes civil police duties are concerned. When acting as general purpose police force, the Praeceps encompasses the duties of conducting counter terrorist operations, Imperial investigation units responsible for criminal inquiries, and the Mobile Brigades of the Praeceps which have the task to maintain public order in the event of natural disaster, terrorist attack, or general civil unrest.
The Imperial armed forces also operate a number of intelligence organizations, the Imperial intelligence council (Strategos) serves as an intelligence fusion body where intelligence reports from all of the individual military intelligence sub-components are compiled and analyzed before being generated into a number of intelligence briefings and reports for various government ministries or the Archon and Emperor themselves. The The Imperial Foreign Intelligence Ministry (Ordo Externus), serves as the main foreign intelligence gathering component of the Imperial armed forces. Tasks include identifying, monitoring, foreign agents operating within the Empire. The Imperial intelligence administration which is responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign and domestic intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, specializing in a discipline known as signals intelligence (SIGINT). The Intellegentius Administratum is also tasked with the protection of Imperial communications networks and information systems and works closely with the Department of Cyberwarfare.
Although technically legal, Zahava has not instituted conscription since 1990.
Zahava has a special military corps, called the Foreign Regiment (Tagmata Xenos) originally founded in 1500s which consists of foreign nationals from all over the world who are willing to serve in the Imperial Armed Forces and become Zahavan citizens after the end of their service period.
Zahava is a recognized nuclear weapons state. Zahava's nuclear deterrence consists of an undisclosed number of ICBMs and SRBMS, seven nuclear ballistic missile submarines, and an undisclosed number of air to ground missiles with a nuclear tipped warhead that can be carried by aircraft such as the Avignor S-26 operated by the Imperial air corps and the vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) capable Kristos AF-9 Amaru operated by the Imperial navy. Zahava also has an extensive chemical weapons stockpile and is rumored to develop a number of biological weapons.
Zahava has a number of major military industries, collectively controlled by the state and placed under the IARM umbrella. Zahava has developed a number of Command and control and network-centric warfare capabilities that include Anti-satellite missiles, Cruise Missiles anti-ship missiles like the AS-9 Helios a dual purpose anti-ship ground attack cruise missile and the AS-11 Skua multi purpose cruise missile, air to air missiles like the AA10 and AA20 and advanced Armored Fighting Vehicles like the H90-Kastellax main battle tank, Carnifex Self Propelled Howitzer, Myrmidon Armored Fighting Vehicle, Stella Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Weapon, Kataskopos Armored Fighting Vehicle, the Hypaspistai Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the Aetos Multipurpose Tactical Vehicle. IARM has also developed a number of advanced state of the art Helicopters such as the HA-81 Skorpius attack helicopter, the HG-82 Kytan a troop transport capable gunship based on the HA-81, the HC-224 Barcarius for heavy lift and transport capability, and the HU-ZR6 Custos utility helicopter and a number of advanced Military Aircraft like the Avignor S-26, vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) capable Kristos AF-9 Amaru, and twin-engine push-pull configuration Elianus 440 Ventum a civilian aircraft that was reconfigured to conduct close air support, forward air control, and psychological operations in addition to search and resuce and firefighting.
The Zahavan military industries have also developed a number of successful small arms such as the KN-70 a modular rifle system whose primary variant serves as the standard issue rifle for all Zahavan armed forces, the Diesos LPR-V20 precision sniper and anti material rifel, the Iapetusius Machina-Ballista Model no.70 a easily manufactured submachine gun, the Hyssos-13 Launcher an anti tank and anti structure rocket propelled grenade launcher capable of firing a variety of different warheads, the Ryza Model 12 a 9×19mm semi automatic pistol which serves as the standard issue side arm and service weapon for Zahavan armed forces and Imperial police forces, the Helandros heavy machine gun a heavy machine gun meant for use against fortified or lightly armored enemy vehicles and the Arsenios-53 machine gun a general purpose machine gun
Due to its expansive array of high quality equipment Zahava is large arms exporter, particularly to ECOSEAS member states, and has jointly developed a number of technologies primarily with Chezzetcook primarily in regards to naval assets. Since the early 2000s Zahava has made strives in the development of 100% domestic production, with the first fully indigenous aircraft carrier, the 80,0000 ton Prospero being launched in 2007.
Zahava has a diversified mixed economy, lead by the service sector, which accounted for 74% of the GDP and employs about three-quarters of the country's workforce in 2020, whilst the industrial sector accounted for 23.5% and the primary sector accounted for the remaining 2.5%. Zahava is unusual in developed countries due to the importance of its primary sector, particularly in the areas of forestry, and mining of rare minerals and uranium. Zahava has the world third largest economy, with a GDP totaling $6.536 Trillion in 2020, and has the 9th highest GDP per capita in the world with $48,462 per inhabitant.
Zahava is the largest economy in ECOSEAS, and has the second highest per capita income. Since joining ECOSEAS Zahava has pushed for a number of economic reforms, successfully lobbying for a number of initiatives to promote economic growth in the region such as the development of a sovereign wealth fund, and a preferential tariff schedule.
Financial services, banking, which consists largely of cooperative banking and credit unions and insurance are the most important sectors of the economy. The Imperialis Argentari Commercium, literally "Imperial Financial Trade Market" is a stock exchange established in 1590 by nobleman Ankhu Ctesias as part of the the Ctesias trading Consortium now serves as the Stock exchange representing a number of companies both domestic and foreign.
Aristoi automotive group, consisting of Aristoi and its subsidiaries is the largest vehicle manufacturer in the Imperium offering a wide variety from high end performance and luxury cars to buses, trucks, and other commercial vehicles. IARM a majority state owned arms manufacturing consortium is another important part of the manufacturing sector of the economy together with a number of civilian aircraft manufacturing companies. In 1963 with growing concern over foreign ownership in the manufacturing sector, Primogenitor Abdelis Vastorius created the Externus Argentari Inspectorum Officium EAIO to ensure foreign takeovers and the establishment of foreign businesses would be beneficial to the Imperium.
Beginning in the late 1700s and into the 1800s as the transition to new manufacturing processes around the world began to change from from hand production methods to machines many of the cities and coastal regions in particular the major cities of Arcanium, Iocanthos, Kharmedia, Ephisia, and Akragas began a process of industrialization and economic development while cities in the western interior parts of the country remained behind still largely focused on primary economic sectors such as agriculture and resource harvesting. This created a growing social economic gap between the more developed and wealthier coastal regions and the largely rural interior.
This gap was reduced in the seventies and eighties through the construction of public works, the implementation of agrarian and scholastic reforms, the expansion of industrialization and the improved living conditions of the population, but a gap still remains even today. The government has continued to pursue iniatives to address this, by conducting land reform and providing tax incentives for companies to locate their manufacturing facilities in the interior. Additionally the government provides funding for a number of education programs aimed at providing higher education to those in rural communities, via the establishment of specialized housing on university campuses, where the government pays for housing and food costs for rural students that meet certain criteria. The government has also launched education initiatives in the form of establishing trade schools in fields such as welding, electrician, automotive or engine work, as well as numerous other apprenticeship programs, again all costs for attending these programs are covered by varying amounts per student dependent upon selection critera such as grades and government evaluations.
Socially the east west divide has had the affect of many coastal city dwellers looking down on those zahavans who live in the interior portions of the country, the government has taken active steps to combat this by promoting a number of achievements and services the interior communities provide to the country as a whole, such as a national holiday in August to celebrate farmers.
Communications and Media
See also: Culture of Zahava
Zahava has a large telecommunications market, with over 80% of all citizens 13 or older having a cellphone, and 97.6% of the population having internet access. Zahava Mobile, Imperial Telecom and Zahava Net are the three largest providers of telecommunications services in Zahava. Telecommunications are state owned in Zahava and the government has spent significant amounts to develop a robust and modern telecommunications network having among the densest 4G, and fiber optic connection networks in the world. Which is in the process of being updated to the 5G standard.
Due to geo-political concerns Zahava developed its own satellite navigation system, dubbed pyremius, began offering commercial navigation services across southern Avalonia in 2000 as well as global services by the end of 2010. The 35th and final satellite of pyremius constellation was launched into orbit on june 12th 2009.
Telecommunications in Zahava are regulated by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. In 2014 the MIIT released a report detailing that Zahavan internet users spent an average of 18.7 hours online per week. The internet in Zahava is largely used for entertainment purposes with most users going online to read news, to search for information, conduct business for work, complete or do research for schoolwork, stream movies, play video games, browse pornography, conduct online shopping, and to check their email.
There are three major television networks in Zahava that own the primary networks and have nationwide broadcasting capability. They are Z-TV, Imaginari Television, and Rank TV. As with telecom companies all three networks are state owned entities. There are numerous provincial level stations that focus on events or news relevant to that geographic area.
There are over 3500 radio stations in Zahava, The Imperial Public Radio Network IPRN is the largest radio station, and the official radio station of the state. IPRN broadcasts twenty four hours a day seven days a week via both radio and satellite and has eleven channels focusing on everything from national and international news, prayer and religious ceremonies, to sports and music. Other radio stations operate at provincial or regional levels and are typically confined to one topic such as sports, or talk shows, music and other entertainment news. All radio stations are monitored by the state for approved content, and IPRN is owned by the state.
Over eighty percent of Zahava's population has access to, or uses the internet on a daily basis. The majority of internet use in Zahava is for entertainment purposes, with most users using the internet to read daily news, check emails, look up information, or have discussions with other users in things like online forums. ZNET, officially Zahavan Internet Compay is the sole ISP in Zahava, and is state owned.
The Imperial government operates an extensive censorship system over web traffic in Zahava, this includes blocking access to certain websites, as well as monitoring users internet use, and blocking or disrupting VPN services among other measures to prevent users from circumventing state censorship measures.
Tourism is a major industry in Zahava and is important for the country's economy and is a rapidly growing industry that serves millions of international and domestic tourists yearly. Foreigners visit the Zahava to see natural wonders, cities, historic landmarks, ancient ruins or archeological sites, to visit the numerous wildlife preserves, or other outdoor attractions , and entertainment or sports venues.
Zahavans seek similar attractions, as well as recreation and vacation areas and rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquillity so called green tourism. Small and picturesque Zahavan villages, many that resemble how they did during times of antiquity and the classical era are promoted through the association "Maxime Villa Rustica" which translates to the most spectacular rural sites, encourages visitors to visit particular villages and townships, and highlights a number of attractions, festivals, and historical sites that can be found or participated in at each site. The Imperial gardens label is a list of the over gardens, floristres, and ornamental greenhouses are sites classified as such by the Imperial ministry of tourism. This label is intended to protect and promote remarkable gardens and parks. Zahava also attracts many religious pilgrims, with practitioners of the Zahavan faith from all over the world taking trips to see the many grand temples or Magna Templum built in Zahava as places of worship for the gods of the Zahavan Pantheon. Sex tourism is also popular particularly among foreigners due to Zahava's lack of inhibitions towards sex in general, legal prostitution, and culture of acceptance towards LGBTQ people.
Traditionally tourism was somewhat limited to wealthy aristocrats whom would visit key historic and religious sites, both as an unofficial coming of age ritual and, more often than not for political reasons, such as heirs to the Imperial throne visiting the shrine at the site of Zahavarius' victory. As advancements in transportation technology were made domestic tourism became an industry, with many key cities such as Arcanium actively marketing events, such as fairs, and later grand orchestras, or plays nationwide to draw visitors. Cities would even compete with one another for periods of time, both in efforts to draw specific acts or events to their cities, but also on which city could have the most visitors for any given event.
Many cities in Zahava have a wide variety of night clubs and bars, with certain areas of the town typically catering to tourists from different regions. Arcanium has the so called "Colonial Row" where a series of night clubs, restaurants, and other venues specifically meant to cater to western Artimean visitors. These areas are typically more heavily patrolled by police and other security personnel to ensure the safety of tourists and businesses in these districts.
Religion also plays a large part in the Zahavan tourist industry with many practitioners making trips to the country for key holiday festivals or to visit sacred holy sites as part of a pilgrimage.
Zahava's many beaches, and the islands that makeup the exoticus segmentum are major tourist destinations and offer a wide variety of resorts, tours, and other activities for visitors to the Imperium.
Arcanium today is one of the most important tourist destinations of the world, receiving an average of 5–12 million tourists a year. This is largely due to the incalculable immensity of its archaeological and art treasures, as well as for the charm of its unique traditions, the beauty of riverside and ocean-side views, and the majesty of its magnificent "paradisum" (parks). Among the most significant sources that draw tourists to the city each year are the seemingly infinite number of museums, with almost at least one museum dedicated to each era of the city, and Zahava's history. Aqueducts, fountains, temples, shrines, elaborate villas, palaces, historical buildings, the monuments and ruins of previous eras, along with the vast system of catacombs buried beneath sections of the city.
Like many other cities in Zahava Arcanium charges a tourist tax, which is used to finance the upkeep of historical sites, in addition to providing funding for public transportation and infrastructure. The city also features a prominent night life, and in the Amare district a vibrant LGBTQ+ community. As with other places in Zahava the capital city also features a red light district and is renowned for some of its strip clubs. In the nubes district the city features a number of fine and luxury dining restaurants, private villas and luxury resorts as well as an opera house, a fully restored amphitheater that dates back to the first empire, and the hippodromus magnus, where the most prestigious chariot races still take place.
The optimates district features even more luxury hotels, resorts, restaurants, and hosts some of the cities most spectacular views, with the hotel auriolus famous third floor balcony providing a panoramic view of the Impeiral marina where the emperor's private yacht is typically docked, as well as a view out over the Mageiaus river and of Arcanium bay.
The nearby north arcanium hills are another popular tourist area, featuring a number of historical archeological sites, as well as some of the most elaborate and splendid shrines and temples found anywhere in the Imperium, the most famous of which being the site deemed "the worlds oldest tree" which serves as the center piece of a sacred grove, lined with orchids and other beautiful vibrantly colored flowers and plants dedicated to the goddess Abedia, which according to the Zahavan faith, is the goddess of earth itself.
Iocanthos, and the nearby Fortes valley, and Septentrionalem coast receives millions of visitors a year and the area is the third most popular tourist destination in Zahava. The Septentrionalem coast is known for its good weather, clean waters which attract tourists for and has 115 kilometres (71 mi) of coastline and beaches where tourists engage in a number of water sports from swimming, water skiing, parasailing, sailing, fishing, boat racing, the area is popular with divers as well due to a significant number of easily accessible shipwrecks, some dating back to the age of sail. The area also has 18 golf courses, 14 resorts, 3,000 restaurants, hotels, bath houses and other attractions. The Septentrionalem coast also hosts a number of yearly boat shows, with the largest known as the Populus which hosts a large percentage of the world's superyacht fleet.
The region also has a number of historical sites some dating back to the bronze age ranging from ruins and recreated ancient Zahavan towns or villages, while the Fortes valley has a number of temples, shrines, palaces, and castles which draw visitors from all over the world. Some of the largest attractions are religious festivals that are carried out in the region as well as one of the largest football stadiums being located in Iocanthos.
Kharmidea is both the name of the largest city, and island in the exoticis segmentum. Kharmidea is considered to be a popular tourist destination, especially due to its well-known and at times exuberant nightclub-based nightlife, favorable climate, lax drug laws found in Zahava, and a sexually liberated local population. With nude bathing and bathhouses a common destination for many tourists.
Much of the Kharmidean night life is centered on an area known as The Akritarrii landing, an area of the city which originally was home to a number of cigar manufacturing facilities, particularly the Akritarii brand cigars, a cigar company founded by veteran Akritarii members in the late 1800s. Many of these facilities have since been repurposed into night clubs in modern times, with conversions beginning in the 1960s as part of a government initiative to revitalize the island economy. The repurposed clubs make use of the large floor space these warehouses provided and a number of clubs located in the area have held records for having the largest clubs in terms of dance floor space in the world. In the 1970s the contemporary dance club would begin to come into being and in the 1980s the advent of rave, dance, and house music would be firmly cemented into the islands nightlife culture and would be the predominate type of music played although some smaller clubs and venues cater to other genres, with reggae and island music the second most popular genre on the island.
The Kharmidean night life culture quickly developed several distinctive elements: open-air parties, often held in isolated places, there are several modern clubs that incorporate portions of ancient bronze and iron age ruins into the club theme and architecture, mixed nudity and costume parties are common and unlike places like those found along the Septentrionalem coast, the costs of staying in Kharmidea or getting into the various clubs enables people from various backgrounds and social economic standing to blend together. After hours clubs also became popular on the island, with some clubs closing at the mandatory 0630am, but then reopening at 7 am, allowing party goers from clubs that had otherwise closed for the day to go to the re-opened club and continue their partying and dancing even in broad day light.
In recent years, during the summer, top producers and DJs in dance music come to the island and play at the various clubs, in between touring to other international destinations. Some of the most famous DJs run their own weekly nights around the island. Many of these DJs use Kharmidea as an outlet for presenting new songs within the house, trance and techno genres of electronic dance music, and since 2000 the island has hosted a two week long music festival inviting musical artists from all over the world to attend.
The generally liberal attitudes toward sex and lack of anti-prostitution laws in Zahava have made the island a popular destination for sex tourism as well, and a number of brothels operate in the city, which also features a well established red light district.
Beyond the night life, the island like much of Zahava features a number of historical sites, the most prominent being theater of Auli, which is both a theater and temple to the goddess of emotion. The Praeceps ridge features many campsites and hiking trails with breath taking views of the south Iapetus from the ridgeline's sheer cliffs. Boating, sailing, swimming, snorkeling, diving and other water sports are also popular attractions with numerous reefs both natural and man-made as well as a number of shipwrecks which are all located nearby and easily accessible.
Agriculture has historically be an important sector of the Zahavan economy, and Zahava has historically been a large producer of agricultural products. Due to extensive tracts of fertile land, the application of modern technology over the centuries to ensure efficient planting and harvesting methods. Poultry, rice, maize, sugarcane, avocados, beef, and pork, as well as internationally recognized processed foods are the primary Zahavan agricultural exports, in addition to oranges, cotton, tomatoes, pineapples, mangos, bananas, and cassava along with several other types of tropical fruits, nuts, and beans.
In modern times, ethanol and sugarcane have become increasingly significant agricultural exports in Zahava, with the country exporting 746.8 million tons of sugarcane in 2019.
Beef, poultry, and pork are concentrated in central and south western zahava, primarily on the flat tropical savanna, while the northern territories of the country are primarily focused on the production of fruits, such as oranges, bananas, pineapples, mangos, and rice. The sub tropical regions and some regions of the southwest and western portions of the country grow substantial amounts of cotton, grains, maize, and barley.
Maize has two harvests per year. The main harvest is during the rainy season and a second, "dry cultivation" harvest follows during the dry season. In the South the main harvest is in late August; while in the Southeast and Center-West, it happens in October and November and in the Northeast, by year end. In 2020 Zahava produced 107 million tons of maize
Sugarcane is concentrated in areas around Calixium, and Cessitum. Zahava harvested 558 million tonnes of sugarcane in 2007, representing a growth of 17.62% over 2006. For 2008, Zahava harvested 648,921,280 tonnes, of which total 89% was used for sugar and ethanol production. The other 11% was used for the production of alcoholic beverages, as animal feed and as seeds. Ethanol production in 2008 was predicted to reach 26.4 billion liters, the country now exceeds 746.8 million tons of sugarcane production per year, with roughly 90% of it being used in the production of ehanol.
While it has declined in importance over the years tobacco remains an important crop in Zahava, generating 1.7 billion dollars in 2019. The largest tobacco producing area is located near Gortyna.
Rice is a staple food in the Zahavan diet, as typical Zahavan meal consists of richly flavored side dishes, meat or poultry and vegetables, surrounding a pile of steamed rice. Rice is one of Zahava's most important food crops, and rice is raised on about 19% of the countries cultivated area. The majority of rice is grown south of the Masali River, in the lower Masali river valley delta, and in the Murmean river valley, located in the Mesis and Subsolanus segmentums.
The cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants covers an area of nearly 4,800 hectacres with demand for the many vibrant colored flowers are in high demand, the cultivation of ornamental plants accounted for over 20,000 jobs, of which over 75% were held by women and was with nearly a quarter of all plants cultivated being done by small private farms which made up around 21% of all farms involved in the cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants. A number of which have been featured in the international flower festival known as the World Floral Expo.
The main fruits grown in Zahava are, in alphabetical order: Abiu, açaí, acerola, alligator-apple, apple, atemoya, bacaba, bacuri, banana, biriba, blueberry, Avalonian Plum, Avalonian nut, breadfruit, cajá, camu camu, cantaloupe, cashew, citrus (orange, lemon, lime, etc.), coconut, cupuaçu, fig, guava, grapes, jambo, jocote, kiwi, mangaba, mango, mangosteen, mulberry, muruci, nectarine, papaya, passionfruit, patawa, peach, pear, pequi, persimmon, physalis, pineapple, pine nuts, plum, rambutan, raspberry, sapodilla, sapote, sorva, soursop, starfruit, strawberry, tucuma, walnut, and watermelon
The fruit sector grossed 10.6 billion dollars, and the nation produced in excess of 38 million tons, cultivated on 3.4 million hectares of land. With citrus and bananas accounting for 47% of Zahava's total fruit output in 2019. In 2008 Zahava harvest 18.3 million tons of oranges and other citrus crops alone.
Zahava has a large livestock population. livestock is primarily raised in the south central, south western, and western regions of the country. with pigs and fowls being the most common types of livestock raised. Nearly 5 million tonnes of meats (not including seafood) are produced in Zahava, with Poultry including ducks and geese,etc accounts for 3.2 million tonnes. followed by pork, with 1.2 million tonnes; beef, with 265,000 and mutton (including goat meat), over 100,000 tons.
Grapes, harvest primarily for wine production are used to produce, in quantities between 93,860 and 115,863 gallons per year per year of wine.
An extensive railway system with a large number of stations, which was first established in the 1800s, and progressively updated, maintained, and improved due to government ownership over all infrastructure allows for efficient transport of agricultural products which are grown in the mostly rural interior portions of the country to processing facilities that are closer to the more urbanized areas of the coastal regions.
The production of silk has been an important part of the Zahavan economy for thousands of years. In times of antiquity the right to wear silk was reserved for the Imperial house, and the most influential of nobles as a symbol of their social status with certain colors being reserved for specific ranks or posts. As the popularity of Silk spread throughout the world the silk industry in Zahava has gained significant government investment, with the government funding the construction of a number of silk processing factories and building necessary infrastructure in rural areas to increase production and distribution capabilities.
In addition to the traditional silk, the Imperium is among the top producers of sea silk, a rare and ultra fine silk made from the filaments secreted by mollusks which is then harvested and processed to be used in top of the line fashion and decor.
More recently as part of the governments initiatives towards more eco-friendly economic endeavors the harvesting of wild silk has become more common. The main difference between the harvesting of wild silk, and traditional silk is that silkworms are allowed to mature and complete the process of metamorphosis into a moth, after-which the leftover cocoons are harvested and processed into silk. This process prevents having to kill the silkworms, which are typically boiled in the cocoon stage of development.
Aquaculture began in ancient times in Zahava, primarily with the harvesting of carp, which were raised in paddy fields, and on silk farms as a means to control insect populations, the types of carp harvested varied by region and gradually through trade many farmers were raising multiple types of carp even in the same ponds or lakes.
Over time, as both domestic and international demand grew aquaculture in Zahava evolved from being primarily a small scale family owned business to being a large scale industrial enterprise, with aquaculture based enterprises now accounting for over five million hectares of land. As the scale of Aquaculture grew so too did the types of products produced. Shrimp and crab farming were among the first products to be produced commercially, with output of shrimp, and river crab steadily increasing yearly from the mid 1900s onward to over 160,000 tonnes in 2018. The production of farmed shrimp poses its own set of unique risks and challenges such as stocks susceptibility to disease, which has on numerous occasions resulted in the loss of large percentages of shrimp populations.
Molluscs such as oysters, clams, and other mussels began being commercially farmed in the late 1940s, with the advent of farming believed to have saved several species from extinction due to over harvesting and poaching prior to the development of commercial farms.
A number of different species of fish make up Zahavan Aquaculture, with carp remaining the largest produced this is due in part to the ease of care for carp, they are generally hardy fish, breed rapidly, the majority of carp species are non-cannibalistic, and they grow quickly. More recently measures to farm fish such as various types of catfish, salmon, trout, and perch. Turtle farming is also a large industry in Zahava, with 75,000 tonnes of turtle meat produced annually.
As with other sectors of the economy the government has launched a number of Eco-friendly initiatives in regards to Aquaculture. This includes strict government regulation on all fisheries within Imperial territorial waters, as well as guidelines on how densely populated farms can be, what farmed species are fed and how much, as well as inspections to ensure Aquaculture farms are complying with government regulations and for evaluations on the areas neighboring Aquaculture farms ecological health.
Other measures the government has taken towards sustainability are the use of better netting materials for farmed fishery cages, to reduce biofouling and ensure a cleaner healthier environment for farmed species, and the use of genetic modification to allow certain farmed species to mature more quickly, or to be resistant to different types of disease. Another method being used is the implementation of farming multiple species together when the targeted species can live in a synergistic relationship, such as raising different types of carp in the same ponds such as mud carp, which feed on the bottom, silver carp, which feed in the mid water, and grass carp which feed on the surface, another example is the use of molluscs and two types fish in the same farming cages where the molluscs eat the fish waste, while one fish provides food, in the form of fry and eggs for the species targeted for harvest.
Transportation and Infrastructure
Since the late 1990s, Zahava's national road network has been significantly expanded through the creation of a network of national highways and expressways, primarily focused on the coastal regions. More recently projects which aim to expand these networks to the interior have begun. At the same time the national railways were also been expanded, and by the end of 2018, Zahava's high-speed railway network reached a length of 29,000 km.
In 1991 there were a total of 10 bridges crossing the Masali, and Mageiaus rivers, which effectively trisect the country in to three north central and south regions. In 2000 there were more than 100 road and railway bridges and tunnels of various capacities that crossed the river ways.
Zahava has the world's largest market for automobiles, with sales exceeding 24 million in 2017. The rapid expansion of road networks has seen a dramatic increase in vehicle related fatalities. Many blame poorly enforced traffic laws as the main cause, resulting in the government forming a new specific police force solely for the purpose of traffic law enforcement, the number of traffic accident related deaths almost immediately began to fall following this measure, however the number of fatalities on Zahavan roadways still remains higher than in other more developed parts of the world.
The government has also taken additional measures to improve roadway safety, both by requiring more rigorous driver education and testing, and through the use of modern roadway construction and safety measures. The government has also implemented strict safety regulations and consumer protection laws that all vehicle manufacturers must meet. From 2007 to 2016 traffic related fatalities fell by an additional 21%.
In many urban areas, bicycles, or small motorbikes remain a common mode of transport, despite the increasing prevalence of automobiles.
Zahava's railways, which are state-owned, are among the busiest in the world, as of 2017, the country had 127,000 km (78,914 mi) of railways. Despite this extensive network the railways often struggle to meet demand. Particularly around key religious holidays where large numbers of rural citizens travel to stay in cities for the festivals, or to make religious pilgrimages, the eleven days of celebration from December 16 to the 27th see one of the largest annual human migrations in the world.
In 2013, Zahavan railways delivered 2.406 billion passenger trips, generating 1,059.56 billion passenger-kilometers and carried 3.987 billion tons of freight, generating 2,917.4 billion cargo tons-kilometers. The government continues to upgrade and expand the railway network in order to better meet this staggering demand.
Beginning in 2000 the government began construction of high speed rail and metro systems for urban travel. The highspeed network includes the Nazrah-Arcanium-Selonopolis or NAS line, with an annual ridership of over a billion passengers in 2015. To date the NAS is the fastest train in Zahavan service with a top speed of 440 km/hr. In 2009 the government began construction on a maglev high-speed train connecting Arcanium and Nazrah, that would reach a speed of 600 km/hr, if the project is successful this line would be expanded to other urban areas.
Since 2000, the growth of rapid transit systems in Zahavan cities has accelerated. As of January 2016, 26 Zahavan cities have urban mass transit systems in operation and 39 more have metro systems currently under construction, with a further two dozen recently having their system proposals approved by the government.
There are more than 210 airports in Zahava with up to 230 planned for completion by 2024. It is expected that by 2030 Zahava's commercial airline fleet will be approaching 6300 aircraft. Like road and rail networks, civil aviation in Zahava has seen rapid and largescale expansion. This has made some of Zahava's largest airports among the busiest in the world.
Zahava has 110,000 kilometers of navigable rivers, streams, lakes, and canals, with over 2,700 river and seaports, about 140 of which are open to foreign shipping of these eighteen are considered "major" shipping ports with a capacity of over 50 million tons per year, In 2015 Zahava's major coastal ports handled 3.2 billion tons of freight. River traffic and the use of canals and barrages remains a common method for moving cargo from the interior regions to the coastal regions for sale or processing and export, with ships of up to 10,000 tons being able to navigate some 1,000km inland on the Masali river.
Traffic on the inland waterways exceeded 3.459 billion tonnes of cargo in 2016, with passenger traffic reaching 271 million people. Construction of new railways and highways has diminished the utility of Zahava's rivers for passenger transport. Nonetheless, passenger boats are still popular in some regions, and remain a popular tourist activity.
Zahava is among the worlds largest energy consumers, and likewise since the 1980s its energy production has increased dramatically to meet domestic demand. Zahava has very limited reserves of natural gas and crude oil, instead relying heavily on renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric,ethanol fuel, and especially nuclear power to meet energy demands. Zahava's nucler program began in earnest in the 1990s with facilities set up to utilize readily available domestic sources of uranium.
In 2018 nuclear power accounted for 65% of Zahavan electricity production, hydropower power accounted for 13%, bio-fuels 10%, renewables 3%, and fossil fuels 9%.
All sources of power production are nationalized and under the authority of the administratum of energy, with plans to build an additional eleven nuclear power plants with the stated goal to become a net energy exporter. In order to boost the production of green renewable energy in 2016 Imperial decree E4578 allows foreign companies to construct, maintain and operate green power plants within the country tax-free for the first 3 years of operation, with the Zhavan government subsidizing the construction. Foreign-constructed green powerplants can be operated primarily by foreign companies but are required to have at least fifty percent of the staff at the facility as Zahavan, companies that exceed eighty percent ratio have their tax exemption period increased by one year for every ten additional percentage ratios, at one hundred percent zahavan work force the foreign company will have five years of tax free operation.
Zahava having limited reserves of domestic petroleum and natural gas must import these resources from elsewhere. The majority, 51% of Zahava's natural gas comes from Kaya via a series of pipelines established between the two countries. In 1993 limited reserves of natural gas were found off the coast, with further surveying expeditions still ongoing, these have yet to discover any reserves of significance. What reserves have been discovered have sense been tapped in order to reduce reliance on foreign imports for natural gas and petroleum. Zahava has access to several major coal deposits, all of which are located in western reaches of the country, with the largest deposits being found primarily around the cities of Kimmeria and Himera, with some smaller deposits found around the city of Belahham in south west Zahava.
The 2019 census recorded the population of Zahava to be 130,000,650 bout 16.60% of the population were 14 years old or younger, 72.14% were between 15 and 59 years old, and 11.26% were over 60 years old. The population growth rate is expected to be 0.52%. Zahava is the 12th most populous country in the world, Average life expectancy in Zahava at birth was 83.4 years in 2019, with an average life expectancy of 81.5 years for men and an average life expectancy of 85.4 years for women. Zahava has a higher than average fertility rate for a developed country with the fertility rate of 2.5 as of February 2020 above the replacement rate of 2.0 and a very low infant mortality rate (2.5 per 1,000 live births), and a low maternal mortality ratio of 3 per 100,000 live births and an overall mortality rate of 8.20. The higher than average fertility rate for a developed country is likely explained by large numbers of immigrants moving to Zahava from other southern avalonian countries due to the improved standard of living Zahava has compared to many of its neighbors as Zahava has a HDI rating of 0.932 and an unemployment rate of 5.8%
Zahava has a low divorce rate, of 1.95 per 1,000 and a divorce ratio of only 21.15, with an urban population of about 51.2% and a population density of 56.9 inhabitants per square kilometer.
In a study conducted by the Economic Intelligence Organization Zahava scored a 7.57 out of ten on the EIO report ranking the countries of the world on where it would be best to be born based on the following criteria:
- Material well-being as measured by GDP per capita
- Life expectancy at birth
- The quality of family life based primarily on divorce rates
- The state of political freedoms
- Job security (measured by the unemployment rate)
- Climate (measured by two variables: the average deviation of minimum and maximum monthly temperatures; and the number of months in the year with less than 30mm rainfall)
- Personal physical security ratings (based primarily on recorded homicide rates and ratings for risk from crime and terrorism)
- Quality of community life (based on membership in social organisations)
- Governance (measured by ratings for corruption)
- Gender equality (measured by the share of women holding seats in government positions)
Most Zahavan people, are of Zahavan origin, with a mixture of Kayan and Siwi. Regionally the country has disticnt differences, with those of zahavan decent being found along the coast, and mixed in the interior while in the western regions, such as those found in Zapadis, there are more people with Siwi majority backgrounds, and in the southern regions of feraxis and austellum many people have a mixed Zahavan Kayan background.
The Epitoma Aiona contains the majority of Zahavan religious tradition and serves as a spiritual guide to the Zahavan ideas of the origin of the universe, the origins of the humanity, the lives of heroes, interactions between the gods and mankind, and the nature of the human soul. Zahavan religion is organized under a system of priestly offices with the Primogenitor being the head the faith. The next highest church official being the Ecclesiarch Imperialis a position appointed by the Primogenitor. Duties of the priestly offices include include deifying the Emperor, supervision of rituals and leading of prayers and other religious services or rites.
Zahavans practice daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly rituals as well as some more infrequent ones dependent upon a multitude of conditions. Rituals may consist of animal sacrifices, or prayers, and incantations made to heroes of Zhavan lore or to a specific individual or group of gods. In addition to the gods and heroes of the Aiona, Zahavans also worship their ancestors and often have a chosen familial deity meant to watch over protect and provide for the family, many Zahavans also worship the Primogenitor, as a descendant of the divine and a protector of all humanity.
Freedom of religion is guaranteed in Zahava, although unofficially Zahavan polytheism is the state religion and religious organizations other than this are subject to religious oversight by the government, and must pay taxes at a higher rate than Zahavan polytheist counterparts still enclaves of various religious sects exist in the country, typically confined to a specific village, town, or part of a region.
A 2016 study found 98.6% of Zahavan citizens identified as being practitioners of Zahavan Polytheism, making Zahavan Polytheism one of the most followed religions in the world, the remaining 1.4% being divided up among various branches of Messianism, Haqiqatan, and other faiths. Over 97% of those not following Zahavan Polytheism were identified as being foreign born persons.
Latin was the original language of the Zahavaite peoples and following their early conquests of the Zahavan coastal city states. Over time this language was influenced by local regional dialects and by the creation of the first empire, into what would come to be called high imperial, and would be used as the official language used in all legal documents, in imperial courts, and to conduct religious ceremonies. In an effort to high imperial over other domestic languages, emperor Lycon had it declared that in order for prayers or other religious rites to be conducted properly, they must be conducted in high imperial. Lycon was also known to remove officials from office if he found their proficiency in high imperial insufficient.
high imperial would also become the default language used at centers of education, and upon enlistment into the imperial army all soldiers were taught and given instruction in latin, speaking in a foreign language while on duty, or issuing orders in a language other than high imperial was enough to merit corporal punishment for the offending party.
Despite this, many citizens, especially as the empire spread would develop only a token understanding of Latin, and many official documents, such as imperial edicts, and inscriptions on coinage, and legal documents were translated into local regional languages, or displayed via inscriptions bilingually with the law written in high imperial, and repeated in the local regionally dialect below the high imperial inscription. Many of the elite classes of society were fluent in multiple languages, and while high imperial was the primary and official language even emperor Lycon himself was fluent in multiple tongues, a skill he used frequently when meeting for foreign ambassadors or other officials.
Over time the mix of high imperial, with other local dialect would establish a second form of imperial language, which would go on to become known as low Imperial, and although not used officially this subset of high imperial would go on to become what would actually be spoken by the majority of the common citizenry within the empire, and would eventually see its acceptance for use in the imperial military, and most religious rituals and ceremonies, while high imperial remained reserved for special rites and ceremonies.
Beggining in the early 1980s Zahava has seen a steadily increasing movement of citizens moving from the rural interior to urban centers closer to the coast, primarily seeking better employment and earning potential opportunities. As of 2020 fifty-one percent roughly 510 million people now reside in urban centers. The largest cities in Zahava, in terms of population within an urban area are Arcanium (20,217,700), Iocanthos (16,446,900), Barca (13,552,359) Calixium (12,552,359), Moirae (12,478,447), Akragas (12,446,900) Nazrah (11,007,835), Thraxia (10,313,714) and Selonopolis (10,291,486), and Ephisia (9,358,400).
Arcanium is the capital of the Imperium and since times of antiquity has been a center for commerce, industry, and culture as well as the seat of government. Other cites developed as centers of key industries, or trade, due to their geographic location and proximity to accessible transportation networks or specifically desired resources. Of all the segmentums of the Imperium, the Raetium Segmentum has the greatest number of large urban centers with 5 of the top 20 cities in the Imperium being found in Raetium.
Largest cities or towns in Zahava
2020 federal census estimate
Zahavans have enjoyed some form of public education since the height of the second Imperial era nearly two thousand years ago. Zahava has maintained a high level of literacy throughout its history. With many towns and cities having multiple libraries, the Imperium considers it crucial that its citizens have access to the deep literary tenets of the Zahavan culture extending back as far as 700 BCE.
Early Childhood Education
Daycare and nursery-kindergarten are considered critical for developing the cooperation and communication skills important to prepare young children for lifelong education, as well as formal learning of reading and mathematics, with the focus of education in early childhood being for students to “learn how to learn”, additionally it is considered important to instill a strong moral foundation for children beginning at an early age. To this end children are often told stories about great men and women, or cautionary tales about individual failures, which are meant to instill Zahavan values into children. Parents and family members are expected to act as role models. With education considered invaluable to the preservation of Zahavan culture, much of services that consist of early childhood education are provided by the state with education payments, when applicable are scaled based on family income.
Schools, or daycares are overseen by appointed schola magisters, who serve as teachers for students, early childhood education does not focus on formal education and instead focuses on nature, animals, and the “circle of life” and a focus on materials- based learning. To encourage a positive attitude towards learning in general it is common practice that, after birth families are provided with a number of books both for children and adults.
Primary Comprehensive Education
The compulsory educational system in Zahava consists of a twelve-year comprehensive school from the ages of 5 to 18, broken up into grades 1-12. The education system is further broken up into varying levels of scholariums or schools. Level 1 scholariums consist of grades 1-4 (ages 5-11), Level 2 scholariums consist of grades 5-8 (ages 11-14) and level 3 scholariums of grades 9-12 (ages 14-18)
At all levels of the comprehensive education students are taught both practical skills such as basic sewing, and cooking in conjunction with their formal areas of study. Homework is typically kept minimal, and outdoor activities and exercises are heavily encouraged along with reading for pleasure. Many children's shows in the Imperium feature books that allow children to "interact" with the characters in the programs.
The atmosphere in classrooms is formal, pupils are expected to show their schola magisters high levels of respect and many schools implement uniforms which students must wear and maintain. Class sizes are traditionally kept low, with roughly 20-25 pupils per classroom. Where this is not feasible classrooms often have more than one schola magister.
The Zahavan education system does not have gifted programs during the normal school day. Students who excel in their studies are expected to assist those who are struggling, and may take advanced courses in special after hours programs. Other programs offered include musical instrument instruction, organized sports or competitions, and more advanced practical instruction such as additional foreign language studies.
At level 1 scholariums students begin their formal education in traditional areas of study, students are additionally also taught a foreign language which is typically French, or Spanish. Students also receive formal religious instruction.
Level 2 scholariums students continue with their formal education, second language and religious instruction but on more advanced areas of study. In recent times students, particularly in the urban centers have also began receiving basic computer science and programming instruction.
Level 3 scholariums continue with their formal education, second language and religious instruction but on still more advanced areas of study such as trigonometry. Students also receive education in budgeting and financial management, students are also administered aptitude tests to provide them with better guidance on whether they should attend trade school, or seek secondary education
Students are assessed quarterly students who score poorly in one half quarter must show improvement by the end of the second half or they will be forced to retake a course and be prevented from going onto the next grade. At the completion of 12th grade, if a student has acceptable evaluations they will receive their Primary Comprehensive Education diploma, which will allow them to attend either trade schools, or go on to secondary education at Adeptorium. Depending on evaluations, interviews and desired vocational job or adeptorium area of study the state may cover all costs associated with the programs.
Crime and law enforcement
In Zahava law arises primarily from written statutes; judges are not to make law, but merely to interpret it. Basic principles of the rule of law were laid in the lex imperialis, and establish that law should only prohibit actions that are harmful to society. law is divided into two principal areas: private law and imperial law. Private law includes, in particular, civil law and criminal law. Imperial law includes, in particular, administrative law and constitutional law. Both civil and criminal law are codified at a national level, although provinces may enact their own laws in regards to certain things such as speed limits on roadways that affect only the provincial level, and laws at a lower level can not override laws passed at a higher level of government. Additionally all laws at the national level are reviewed by the zahavan religious governing body, the Ordo Templi to ensure that no law will infringe upon the practices of the Zahavan faith.
Laws prohibiting discriminatory speech in the press are as old as 1881, and laws protecting persons based on gender or sexual orientation have been official for homosexuality and LGBTQ have existed since the late 1700s, homosexuality was formally declared legal and persons or companies were prohibited from discriminating against homosexuals in 1791, after a series of cases involving Messianic groups from neighboring albaterra and elsewhere were denying members of the homosexual community jobs or fair housing.
Freedom of religion is constitutionally protected and has been practiced in Zahava since the first Zahavite empire, however it is still common for practitioners of other faiths, especially those who practice an abrahamic faith to be socially shunned.
The zahavan penal system has shifted beginning in the 1980s, going from seeking to punish criminals and offenders to now seeking the rehabilitation of the criminal and the protection of the public. Except for petty crimes, which are tried before a single professional judge, and serious political crimes, which are tried by a tribunal of professional judges, all charges are tried before mixed tribunals of nine judges, which consist of 5 professional judges and 4 lay judges.
While the penal system has shifted towards prioritizing rehabilitation of offenders, Zahava still has life imprisonment and the death penalty, although the former is reserved for extreme cases of violent offenders, and the latter is officially only used for acts of treason, terrorism, or attacks against the Imperial house.
Each Province in Zahava maintains its own provincial wide police force, while cities, towns and villages also have their own smaller law enforcement forces. Segmentae Arbites, Urbs Arbites and Praedium Arbites respectively.
Besides the Ordo Custodes the Imperialis Arbites are the only Empire wide police force. Unlike the Custodes the Arbites are focused primarily on enforcement of the Lex Imperialis which serves as the legal code of the Empire, although the two agencies regularly work closely together.
Similarly towns and cities have their own courts, which deal with matters within the jurisdiction of the town or city they reside in, these are commonly referred to as Polis Courts. Above these courts are Prefecture courts, which have a county level jurisdiction deal with appeals from the polis courts, above these are the provincial courts who likewise deal with appeals from the Prefecture courts, and above these are the Imperial courts. Judgements from a lower court can be appealed to a higher court, but judgements issued by a court at the Imperial level are only able to have their decisions overturned by an Imperial decree usually following the advice of the Imperial Council of Justices who advise the Primogenitor on legal matters and handle legal proceedings for the Imperial house. Overall Zahava is considered a safe country with a low murder rate with 1.18 murders per 100,000 as of 2019.
As of 2020 capital punishment remains a legal penalty in Zahava and has officially been since the first Zahavite empire in 27 BCE. In antiquity capital punishment was a possible sentence for a vast array of crimes, including theft, rape, blasphemy, insulting or dishonoring the imperial house, stealing or harming livestock, fraud, and many other lower level crimes along with the more acceptable crimes of murder or treason. For many years the methods of execution used to carry out capital punishment depended upon both the social class the condemned belonged to, and the crime that had been committed. Hanging was regarded as a commoners punishment and less dignified, and so if a Zahavan noble was convicted of a capital crime, they would most often be subjected to execution by beheading which was considered more dignified. If a member of the Imperial house was convicted of a crime, law forbade any commoner or noble from drawing blood from a member of the divine household, and so they would be buried alive, offered poison to drink themselves or to carry out a form of suicide, thrown from a cliff, or tied to rocks and left to drown as the tide came in, depending upon their offense. It was common, especially following a rebellion, for many executions to take place, consisting of the rebellion ring leaders, and any number of captured rebellious fighters, there are some reports that over six thousand executions resulted from a number of failed rebellions over the centuries.
In modern times capital punishment is rarely used, but a number of crimes still carry the possibility of a death sentence being issued by the courts. These crimes include: human trafficking, exceptionally violent murder, mass murder, inflicting bodily harm such as rape, terrorism, treason, espionage, attacks against a member of the Imperial house, attacks against members of a religious order or murder of a law enforcement agent. In previous era's capital punishment could be invoked for a wide variety of crimes
As time progressed the offenses for which capital punishment could be applied with shortened, eventually only becoming applicable to crimes where harm was inflicted upon another person, or group of people, and the prevailing view shifted from capital punishment as a form of retribution to be seen as a form of deterrence, but with the belief that punishment should be on the same level as the crime committed, thusly while theft caused financial harm to a victim and imfringed upon the victims freedom as they must now spend time providing police reports and giving statements, it did not result in any physical harm to the victim, therefore any punishment for crimes such as those of theft should be limited to incarceration where the convicted now had to give up their freedom, and restitution, where the convicted had to restore the financial damages their theft had caused to the victim.
In Zahava there are three methods of carrying out capital punishment, the most common is hanging. The second most common method of carrying out capital punishment is beheading, with the third method being execution via electrocution. Other forms of execution have existed in Zahava over the centuries. It was formerly common for vanquished rulers to be taken on a parade through the streets of Arcanium, which concluded on a special dais created for the gods, there the vanquished leader would be chained in the center of the dais and then beaten to death at the end of a religious ritual offering the vanquished foe to the gods as thanks for the Imperial triumph. This practice ended sometime during the first Zahavite empire, and instead defeated leaders were beheaded, and their heads typically displayed outside their former capital cities' walls as a means of psychological coercion for the newly conquered populous.
For many years executions were carried out in public in Zahava, this changed in the 1800s when, after several legal scholars noticed an increase in violent criminal acts occurring at the time and place executions were being held it was decided that executions would be carried out within penitentiary walls and away from public view. In order to ensure the sentences were carried out a small court approved audience, typically consisting of a representative of the state, members of the victims family, members of the condemned's family, which are placed in a separate area with a legal representative of the condemned away from the victims family and state representatives. The condemned are then, except in cases of treason, or committing an act of terrorism are permitted to have three minutes in which to make their final statements, which are both recorded via audio, and transcribed before the sentence is carried out.
In 2000 capital punishment was placed under moratorium, as some judges and other legal officials debated whether or not capital punishment's existence was in line with the more modern Zahavan approach towards rehabilitation of criminals or not. In an unprecedented move the Impeiral government issued a national referendum wether capital punishment should re re-instated, re-instated but only with an amendment of the legal code for grave crimes, with grave crimes being legally defined as human trafficking, exceptionally violent murder, mass murder, inflicting bodily harm such as rape, terrorism, treason, espionage, attacks against a member of the Imperial house, attacks against members of a religious order or murder of a law enforcement agent, or if capital punishment should be abolished completely. The referendum returned with the results showing 81% support among citizens to restore capital punishment within the country for acts defined as "grave crimes" by the proposed amendment to the legal code.
The exception to this is the Imperial military, which has a separate legal code from the civil code, which is largely just an expanded civil code that encompasses crimes that may be committed in a military or war setting. In the Imperial military all crimes, defined as grave crimes can carry a sentence of capital punishment, with the methods being hanging and firing squad. In addition to the grave crimes outlined in the civil code, the Imperial military adds the following crimes as warranting capital punishment:desertion, participation or leading a mutiny, commission of war crimes, commission of an act of genocide. Typically however the Imperial armed forces uses punishments such as imprisonment, rank and pay deductions, and assignments to extra less desirable military duties as punishments.
Another exception to the implementation of capital punishment is that such punishment is forbidden in cases involving a juvenile offender, in the legal code all persons under the age of 21 are considered juveniles, and while capital punishment can not be imposed upon juveniles those who commit especially heinous violent crimes may be interred for a period of up to fifteen years whereupon they will then be psychologically evaluated and if still deemed unable to return to normal society moved into special state criminal psychiatric care centers. Again the Imperial military is the exception to this rule, where offenders despite being considered legally minors may be executed for committing crimes while in imperial military service.
There is a minority of the Zahavan population that pushes for the total abolition of capital punishment in the country, taking the view that capital punishment is wholly incompatible with the stated goal of criminal rehabilitation, that there are undoubtedly wrongful executions just as their are wrongful incarcerations, and that regardless of the methods used all executions are innately barbaric and a violation of basic human rights.
Overall in modern times the use of capital punishment is a rarity in Zahava, with the last execution taking place in 2008, and the country averaging less than one execution a year since 2000.
Average life expectancy in Zahava at birth was 82.7 years in 2019, with the fertility rate of 2.5 as of February 2020 above the replacement rate of 2.0 and a very low infant mortality rate (2.5 per 1,000 live births). The Zahavan health care system is one of universal health care largely financed by government national health insurance. In 2019 Zahava spent 11.6% of its GDP on health care and approximately 77% of health expenditures are covered by government funded agencies, with anywhere between 35% and 100% of prescription medications covered. Medical fees are strictly regulated by the government to keep them affordable. Depending on the family’s or the patients income and the age of the patients, patients are responsible for paying 10%, 20%, or 30% of medical fees, with the government paying the remaining fees.
In order to reduce costs Zahava predominately uses generic drugs provided they pass government evaluations to insure their effectiveness matches those of the name brand variants. Outcomes for high level medical treatment of physical health is generally competitive with that of the rest of the developed world, Zahava's treatment facilities excel in the five-year survival rates of colon cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and liver cancer based on studies conducted by the Imperial International Cancer Research Organization. Surgical outcomes, particularly for cancer remain above the global average in terms of success, while survival times for several cancers are lower, this is probably due to the less aggressive use of chemotherapy in Zahava.
Care is generally free for people affected by chronic diseases such as cancer, AIDS, cystic fibrosis etc. Private health insurance is only accessible to self-employed workers, and to high-income employees. The contributions for public insurance is determined according to income, while the contributions for private health insurance are determined according to age and health condition
Doctors in Zahava are paid less than the international average, but occur fewer costs, they pay no tuition for medical school, medical students get paid during their internships in hospitals which typically covers the certification exam fees and malpractice insurance is less costly in Zahava than other parts of the world, namely due to the fact that courts typically side with medical practitioners over patients. A high number of doctors, almost 4 per 1000 inhabitants and a large number of hospital beds, combined with fee-for-service funding of doctors and private hospitals contribute to Zahava having one of the lowest wait times for health care in the world.
Ambulatory care includes care by general practitioners who are largely self-employed and mostly work alone, although about a third of all general practitioners work in a group practice. General practitioners do not exercise gatekeeper functions in the Zahavan medical system, and the national insurance system does not require first reviving a referral from a general practitioner so Zahavans are free to see any registered medical practitioner of choice including specialists. Thus ambulatory care can take place in many settings.
Mental health and treatments are also provided for by the state, with the state operating a number of psychiatric hospitals. Zahava has a suicide rate of 6.1 suicides per 100,000 inhabitants for males and 1.5 per 100,000 inhabitants for females with a total suicide rate of 3.8 suicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
Cinematography in Zahava began in the last decade of the 19th century, when the first movies from Uriel and Dysorius were premiered in Arcanium and later Moriae in 1894-1896. These movies later inspired some Zahavan authors, to to convert their stories into films, many films were set in zahavan mythology, or during the series of conflicts fought against colonial states establishing themselves in Avalonia, especially stories involving famous naval commanders or privateers. The first Zhavan movie, a montage of recordings from the grand campaigns, was shown in Arcanium in 1918 and was produced by Atronius Dannicus. Zahavan cinematography developed rapidly in the next decade, with the first narrative movie appearing in 1921. The colonial backdrop, mythological epics, grand campaigns, and daring age of sail exploits were once again was used by numerous filmmakers, and the most famous work of the grand campaigns is the called the Abedian and Mageian sorrow of 1917, showing the horrors experienced by soldiers on the various fronts during the grand campaigns so far, which would go onto last until 1925.
Such movies were partially responsible for the growing war-weariness in the country, and contributed to the decision for Zahava to remain out of the war entirely. The Zahavan faith was quick to begin utilizing movies as one of the tools of the missionaries could use, especially in less developed and among lower educated populations: short films depicting the Zahavan gods and mythological heros were both popular and common, as were the tried and true generes of seafaring, patriotic films depicting the Imperiums many victories against colonial artemian states and movies on historic themes were shot between 1914 and 1920. Cinema gained popularity very quickly during this period, not only within the country, but also abroad, as the foreign audience was entertained by the Zahavan epics with super human heros battling mythological creatures or films set as a point of view for exploring the dense jungles and viewing the diverse wildlife found in Zahava. In 1926 the first cinema magazine was opened in Zahava and the first professional film academy was established dubbed the Imperial cinematographic and performing arts academy.
producers at the academy invented several techniques of cinema production and shooting that laid the base of the modern cinema art. Notable early Zahavan filmmakers include Tadius Honoratus, Cato Dysorius, Lars Superbus and Ulpius Keuken. The first Zahavan comedies and drama movies would begin to appear in the early 1930s and continue on into the 1940s. Zahavan movies of the mid-20th century became very popular outside the country, and the film industry saw significant growth culminating in a number of musical fantasy films produced during the 1940s.
Cinema in the 1950s would see a rise in big production and spectacle films perfect for this gained popularity, with the many historic and fantasy epics, as well as the development of gimmicks, such as 3-D film in an effort to get more patrons into the cinemas. Amidst the backdrop of the Great Kesh War and the use of nuclear weapons the the science fiction genre would begin to take off, with a number of films being made speculating on what the world would look in in the next fifty years, often alternating between an apocalyptic wasteland and a clean vibrant peaceful utopia filled with robots and all menial everyday tasks such as washing the dishes being automated allowing for mankind to enjoy a life of pleasure and luxury.
People visiting or living in Zahava or the cities throughout the Imperium are exposed to art in a range of styles and media on a daily basis. Public or official art—including sculpture, monuments such as victory columns, or triumphal arches, or large commemorative statues, religious shrines and the iconography printed onto coins and paper money are the most common form of art people in the Imperium are exposed to.
Art is often religious in nature, depicting a god, or group of gods, ancestors, or in the case of murals often using visual images to tell one of the many ancient epics from Zahavan lore. Art, more importantly high quality art is enjoyable by all persons in the Imperium, not merely those who are wealthy. Temples, shrines, public baths, and other gathering places all are typically adorned with high quality art, while wealthy individuals may commission paintings, sculptures, or other works of art to be displayed publicly both as a means of flaunting their wealth but also as a means of showing their appreciation for culture.
Even items used for commercial use or interior decoration often display varying degrees of esthetic quality and artistic skill.
Oddly however for the most part artists and other artisans are often looked down upon in Zahavan society loosely considered to be akin to manual laborers, Still the required skills to produce quality work was recognized, and is often even considered a divine gift. For those exceptionally skilled artists they may be invited to reside in the home of a wealthy aristocrat producing private commissioned works for them, in fact it is common for Zahavan upper classes to use the works produced by their private artisans as a means of conducting showmanship and competition between rival noble houses.
Music and singing play important parts in Zahavan culture as well and range over various traditions and regional styles. Many religious rites and ceremonies include incantations or prayers being said in a specific melody while certain instruments are believed to ward off ill influences from affecting certain rituals and ceremonies. Music also plays a large part in funerary rites, with funeary processions typically being accompanied by a small band playing music to ward off nefarious spirits, and to celebrate the deceased's spirit ascending to the Hall of tranquillitas.
Music and song are also considered important aspects of social events, with music typically accompanying the evening meal, or in the occasion of guests visiting it is common for children to sing or do other performances for the visiting parties, both as a means of providing entertainment and a means for the hosts to showboat the quality of education and talents of their children. Music is believed to closely resemble the order of the cosmos and is thus considered important for study in addition to subjects like mathematics and knowledge.
Songs also play an important role as a means of self expression and provides a means to preserve local history, with many folk songs revolving around historical events or epic stories, music is also important in a marshal sense, with many aristocrats and the Imperial house having their own marches which announce their arrival, the military itself has a wide variety of marches and songs that vary from regiment to regiment and musical instruments are often depicted in Zahavan art.
See also: Zahavan Mythology
Zahavans have always placed a special emphasis on written word, and record keeping. The ancient scribe Laothoe is quoted as saying "If the sea were ink, there would still not be enough of it to record all the concerns, ledgers, reports, and private messages of the members of the Imperial Government."
Laws and edicts are traditionally posted in writing as well as read out at town squares. While being illiterate was no excuse for one caught breaking a new law. Religion, and the belief that rituals, prayers, and ceremonies must be conducted in the proper manner and order also play a key part in the Zahavan value on written word, to conduct a religious ceremony incorrectly would risk offending the gods and could bring great misfortune on oneself or family.
The preservation and honoring of Ancestors, and other folk tales or epics, and the deeds of these hereos or historical figures is another reason Zahavan's place high value on the written word, and why literacy rates remain high despite the dire financial situation many people in Zahava face.
The earliest Zahavan literature was poetry and was composed for performance rather than private consumption. While poetry was developed around the same time that the early Zahavans developed writing, early poetry would have been composed orally; and would have been performed, typically in an open air amphitheater. Early Zahavan poetry was comprised primarily of three genres, tragedy, often as a tale of mythological story whereby the main character suffers a great loss, such as the death of a lover or child, comedy which would typically skirt the line, and in fact at times poets were jailed due to habit of comedies making fun of those members of the upper social classes, or those in power, the last genre can best be described as epics, where much like the tragedy the main protagonist suffers a loss, but they then embark typically on a harrowing dangerous series of challenges and emerge stronger, wiser, richer, or more powerful than they were before their loss.
Many of the earliest Zahavan writers of wrote solely on the standard topics of philosophy, history, and medical literature, rhetoric, and dialogues
The Pax Zahava period saw the literary center of the Zahavan world move from Ephisia to Arcanium, while other cities, due to their prestigious patrons, such as Iocanthos were also turned into cultural centers in their own right It was thanks to this cultural patronage by Zahavite aristocrats, and their construction of numerous libraries and museums that ensured so much of early Zahavite writing has been able to survive into the modern day. Early Zahavan poetry tended to be highly intellectual, blending different genres and traditions, and avoiding linear narratives. The Pax Zahava period also saw a shift in the ways literature was consumed—while in the previous periods literature had typically been experienced in the form of a public performance or performances, in the Pax Zahavan period it was more commonly read privately in the confines of ones home, or with a small group of friends and family. At the same time, many Zahavite poets began to write for private, rather than public, consumption.
Traditional clothing in Zahava is generally comprised of two articles of clothing, short-sleeved or sleeveless, knee-length tunic for both men and women, boys and girls and an undergarment typically a loin cloth. The most standard article of clothing in Zahava is the Adruo, a simple tunic garment of lighter linen and usually pleated that fastens at the shoulder. Often excess fabric would be pulled over a girdle, or belt, which was fastened around the waist. To deal with the bulk sometimes a strap, was worn around the neck, brought under the armpits, crossed in the back and tied in the front. A cloak, could be worn over-top of the tunic.
Tradational Zahavan dress clothing was primarily focused on necessity, function, materials, and protection rather than establishing identity. Thus, clothes were quite simple, draped, loose-fitting and free flowing. Customarily, clothing was homemade and cut to various lengths of rectangular linen or wool fabric with minimal cutting or sewing, and secured with ornamental clasps or pins, and a belt, or girdle.
Zahava has a relatively unique view on sexuality, for one sexual orientation is not seen as a social identifier in Zahava, like it is in many other places of the world.
In Zahava the age of consent for all both heterosexual, and homosexual relationships is sixteen, the exception being if one partner is older and in a position of authority or providing care to the younger partner. Until the age of eighteen sexual partners are only permitted to be three years apart in age difference meaning in if one partner is the minimum age of sixteen the older partner can at most can be nineteen years of age or the relationship will be considered abusive.
Media in Zahava often features explicit imagery, lyrics, and behavior, and images including nudity or persons engaged in what could be called sexual acts such as kissing, or touching one another while nude are common, even in schools and public areas, although such sexual imagery depicted with acts of violence such as rape are extremely rare, censored from regular public viewing, and are considered inappropriate. Sexual education in Zahava begins at around age nine, and the use of contraceptives, and their proper use is encouraged.
Homosexuality has always been tolerated in Zahavan culture as Zahavans do not conceive of sexual orientation as a social identifier like many other cultures, and particularly Messianic cultures do. There are many communities, bars and clubs specifically pertaining to homosexual patrons, and such establishments have existed since at least the 1400s. Even going back to times of antiquity there are numerous recorded instances of same sex relationships being depicted in Zahavan mythological tales, and folklore stories, indeed homosexual relationships were for a time even encouraged by some ancient Zahavan cultures between men serving in armies as it was believed these relationships and closeness with their comrades would inspire the warriors to fight harder in battle.
While same sex relationships have always been more or less tolerated, in some ancient Zahavan societies they carried with them a social stigma. This was largely due to the fact that same sex relationships are incapable of bearing children, with child birth being considered a chief responsibility for all citizens in many early civilizations, as children were needed so that crops could continue to be harvested, and in the case of boys and young men so that the chieftains armies would have more warriors. With this fact in mind it was not uncommon for same sex couples to consent to having sex with heterosexuals, for the soul purpose of reproduction, this practice was somewhat similar to the practice of older men allowing younger men to bed their wives so that their wives could continue to give birth to healthy children.
Despite these social tolerances, same sex relationships were still not afforded the same legal protections in Zahava until 1543. When same sex marriage was declared valid, namely due to the fact that the Emperor, Ollonius Otho wished to wed his lover, Agies Acastian. Even then Ollonius would take female lovers, for the purpose of producing an heir, for commoners however this practice of engaging in heterosexual intercourse for the purpose of childbirth had long since been abandoned.
Bathing plays a major part in Zahavan culture and society. It is one of the most common daily activities in Zahavan culture and was practiced across a wide variety of social classes, and while bathing and showering at home is still practiced for hygienic purposes unlike many contemporary countries public bathing continues to play an important role in Zahavan society as a social function. Zahavan public baths they vary in size, arrangement, and decoration, towns and villages in rural Zahava may only have a small bathhouse, sparsely decorated, that was originally filled with only cold spring water, while in cities, like the Senilis baths in Barca can hold upwards of 3,500 bathers at a time, and is the size of several city blocks, with both cold and heated bathing areas in addition to other rooms. Fees for the use of public baths are reasonable, permitting their use by members of all social classes.
While the majority of public baths have separate bathing areas for men and women mixed bathing is a common practice, all baths have entrances for men and women, as well as preparation areas for both men and women which feature storage for personnel items, showers, sinks, and toilets. Each entry to the bathing area is kept stocked with a fresh supply of towels, in luxurious bathhouses these towels are often kept in a heated closet.
Public baths paid for by the state typically feature a similar layout, just beyond the entrance of the bathhouse is a room where bathers store their belongings, this is followed by a warm bathing area, where the water and room itself was heated, in antiquity this was done via a system of pipes and braziers kept lit under the floor, next bathers proceed to a sauna like room, which was kept at a higher temperature than the previous room, and was often filled with steam in order to induce sweating, after bathing in the sauna room for some time bathers would then return to the cooler warm bathing area, before proceeding to a cold bathing area which would feature a small swimming pool, in ancient times these rooms were kept cool via the use of spring water, or when applicable the use of snow. After finishing their cold bath bathers would proceed to another room for drying off, and resting before going to the last room, which featured a massage table, where bathers would be rubbed down with a mixture of aromatic oils, lotions, and other cosmetic creams. In modern times at luxury bathhouses the massage room also provides bathers with the option of getting various facial masks, and other cosmetic treatments applied in addition to a massage, with some even offering minor cosmetic procedures such as botox treatments.
Zahavan bathhouses often contained a courtyard, or garden, which was an open-air area used for exercise, or relaxation, often decorated with a combination of statues, busts, small fish ponds, and fountains as well as elaborate floral displays benches, couches, and other lounging or sunbathing areas would also be present, there would also be cleared areas featuring exercise equipment, and maybe a pit filled with sand to serve as an area where people could partake in sports such as wrestling. In some cases, these open aired areas would be created as an interior courtyard often separating the men and women's side of the bathhouse, and in other cases, the open aired courtyards would be placed in front of the bathhouse proper and incorporated into the approach to the entrance to the bathhouse itself. Sometimes the courtyard will feature a shallow swimming pool, filled with cold water. Most often a colonnade outlined the courtyards edges to denote the boundaries of the courtyard area
Alcohol, tobacco and drugs
To legally smoke cigars or cigarettes in Zahava one must be at a minimum of 18 years of age, the same age requirement applies for consumption of alcohol. At one point smoking tobacco was a key part of Zahavan culture, and the cultivation of tobacco an important part of the economy. Beginning in the 1960s the government launched an extensive ad campaign to crack down on smoking among younger members of the population as it was becoming clear the harmful health effects of longterm smoking were contributing to a ballooning cost increase in healthcare. These initiatives have been deemed largely successful with the average cigarette consumption for persons aged fifteen or older in Zahava is now 827.7 cigarettes or cigars consumed per year.
In more recent times the government has taken additional steps to curtail the use of cigarettes in public spaces as the harmful effects of second hand smoke have been studied and become an increasing health concern.
In 1991 the Imperial government passed a law, prohibiting smoking in public areas such as train, bus, tram, or other public transportation stations or on public transport, smoking was no longer permitted inside or within ten feet of a government buildings, with similar regulations applying to any state funded center of education, at medical facilities smoking is prohibited and patrons may not smoke within fifteen feet of any medical building. To discourage the sale of tobacco products to those under the legal age, a system of increasing fines was introduced for businesses caught selling to underage patrons, culminating in a revocation of an establishments license to sell tobacco products for six months on a fourth offense, revocation of a license for a year on a fifth offense, and revocation of a license permanently on a sixth offense within a set time frame typically quarterly.
Exceptions were made to the smoking ban for places like cafes, bars, casinos, restaurants and other select businesses. Many of these exceptions were removed in 2010, with the only exceptions remaining being outdoor cafes, bars, or clubs. Businesses are permitted to have smoking rooms but they must meet strict government set criteria as follows:
- Smoking rooms may occupy at most 20% of the total floor space of the establishment and their size may not be more than 35 meters squared
- Smoking rooms must be equipped with separate ventilation which replaces the full volume of air ten times per hour
- The air pressure of the smoking room must constantly be lower than the pressure in the contiguous rooms
- Smoking rooms must have doors that close automatically; but that can be manually opened in the case of emergency
- No services, such as the serving of food or drinks are permitted to be provided to patrons within the confines of the smoking room
- Cleaning and maintenance personnel may enter smoking rooms only one hour after it was last used by patrons for smoking
Any establishment found to be in violations of these guidelines will automatically be assessed a level two violation, given a fine, and have thirty days to bring their establishment, physical smoking room or rooms, personnel practices, or any other area found to be in violation of the smoking room(s) regulations within compliance or the establishment will face a daily fine for failure to comply with the regulations.
The most popular cigar and cigarette brand in Zahava is Akritarii. Sale, possession, and use of cannibis is legal in Zahava, although cultivating more than one cannibs plant without government liscence is an offense punishable by fine, seizure of the plants, and possible jail time. Other drugs such as processed cocaine are illegal, although use of coca leaves in tea is acceptable.
The legal age for consumption of alcohol is 18 in Zahava, although most Zahavans have had alcohol before this, primarily due to the use of wine in many religiously based rituals, and the custom of having wine accompany the dinner evening meal. Additionlly the tavernarium is an important aspect of Zahavan culture, and is often the focal point of local communities. Referred to as their "domestic by regulars, tavernarium are typically chosen for their proximity to home or work, the availability of a particular beer, spirit, or a good selection, good food, a social atmosphere, the presence of friends and acquaintances, and the availability of Tavernarium games such as darts or pool. Many tavernariums will screen popular sporting events, such as when the national football team, or marquee matchups in Tropaion Leauge such as when Imperiale Club is playing Arcanium Calico. Tavernariums also screen other football matches from the various football leagues around Zahava, and other international sporting events, what events are screened is largely dependent upon the local community makeup that the Tavernarium serves.
One of the earliest and longest lasting philosophies that has had a lasting impact on Zahavan culture is the concept of nobilitas. Nobilitas is a concept that began in ancient Zahavan thought that, in its most basic sense, refers to "excellence" of any kind although it may also mean to have moral virtues. The notion of nobilitas can be ultimately summed up as notion of the fulfillment of purpose or function: the act of living up to one's full potential.
The concept of nobilitas is applied to multiple aspects of Zahavan life, for example scholars seek nobilitas in knowledge, that is learning, discovering, or solving problems and always seeking to know more, about as many things as possible. This concept that nobilitas, was first and foremost the accumulation and understanding of knowledge would serve as a major driving factor for many of the early technological advances made over the course of the centuries the Zahavan empire has existed.
The concept of nobilitas is also a driving factor in why even today such a high percentage of Zahavans are engaged in sport, exercise, and other physically demanding endeavors. It is believed that for one to truly achieve nobilitas, that is to reach their full potential, they must seek to reach their full potential physically, that is to say being physically fit, mentally, that is the accumulation and understanding of knowledge, and spiritually, that is to properly honor the gods, ancestors, and their families. To be lazy or apathetic in Zahavan culture is extremely looked down upon as it is seen to be a waste of the gift of life from the gods, who create man so that he may challenge himself to be the best possible person he or she can in their lifetime.
Association football is the most popular sport in the Imperium. With cities, and segmentums having their own leagues connected via a system of promotion and relegation. The highest tier, or top flight Tropaion League is often considered one of the most prestigious football leagues in the world and represents the highest level of competition in the Imperial football league system.
The Zahavan National Football Team regularly performs well in the AIFA Anterran Cup, winning the 2019 title, resulting in the teams seventh title overall now tied with rival Agrana y Griegro for the second most titles, the national football team also has the second most top four finishes overall with 19. Zahava has hosted the AIFA Anterran Cup four times, and is one of only two teams to both host the cup and win the championship in the same year accomplishing this feat in 1988. The only other team to accomplish winning the championship and hosting in the same year is Ovancia. Zahava's national team is also the only team to win the cup in back to back years in 1988 and 1989 respectively. Compared to its neighboring states Zahava has enjoyed significantly better performances in football at an international level
Zahava is also represented by a national rugby team, which competes in global competitions and has achieved some levels of success sporadically but has not been as dominate in rugby as the national football team has been in football.
Zahava has a special association with the Kharmideian Games, being the founding nation and original sole host of the games, additionally it was a Zahavan nobleman who is credited with suggesting the games be opened up to international competition instead of remaining a domestic one at the end of the 19th century. Rugby, and different forms of wrestling and boxing, which have their origins based in the Kharmideian games are also popular international attractions, with Zahava producing some of the finest wrestlers, boxers, and mixed martial artists in the world having had multiple fighters hold the world championship belts for their respective weight classes. Mixed martial artists from around the world have traveled to Zahava to learn the techniques of Zakeal a style of mixed martial arts that focuses on grappling and submission holds by gaining a dominant position over an opponent and using a number of techniques to force them into submission via joint locks or choke-holds.
tennis is another highly popular sport, with the Zahava Open being one of the major tennis festivals of the Anterran Tennis League which was founded in 1891. Zahava regularly has both men and women ranked highly in international tennis competitions Other popular spectator sports include winter sports which are done in the western alpine regions with Zahava having a number of world renowned ski resorts, boxing, handball, volleyball, basketball, indoor ice hockey, , horse riding and golf are also popular sports in Zahava. Water sports like sailing, rowing, and swimming are popular in Zahava as well. Motorsports have become increasingly popular in recent years particularly Formula One racing with a number of Zahavan metropolises having built tracks.
Trophy Hunting, mainly of white stags and general Hunting, Fishing, Trapping, Camping, Whale Watching, Mountain Climbing, Marksmanship and general Shooting as well as other outdoors, exploration type activities are popular in Zahava.
Zahavan cuisine consists of a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines, and includes influences from religious practices and varies dependent upon ones social class. All Zahavans typically eat three meals today, and have at least one break, typically at 10am or 7pm where they break for tea or coffee.
Zahavans believe that the first meal of the day is important to both having a successful day and for maintaining good general overall health, typically breakfast occurs in the early morning and consists of porridge or flatbread, with some vegetables, fruit, eggs, milk, juice, or yogurt based drinks and finished with coffee.
Breakfast is followed by an optional break for tea or coffee which serves more of a social purpose than as an actual meal, "tea" typically consists of tea or coffee with finger sandwiches, or small sweet rolls.
Lunch is typically served around mid day, and typically consists of a flatbread sandwiches with pork, chicken, or fish, an alternative to flatbread sometimes meat served with rice and a variety of sauces, other lunch meals consist of a soup made with legumes, or salad, with some fruit and vegetables served with tea, fruit juice, or carbonated drinks.
Dinner is the largest meal of the day and typically consists of pork, chicken, fish, beef, or in some cases game meats like venison served in a stew or over rice with a variety of sauces and vegetables, flatbread, cheeses, and fruits followed by rice puddings, cakes, fried dough, or breads with honey. Dinner is usually accompanied with wines or beers, tea or coffee.
Dinner is followed by another "tea" which similarly to the earlier tea gathering serves more a social purpose than actual meal, the later tea gathering typically has sweet rolls or small cups of ice cream as opposed to finger sandwiches.
Major National Holidays
|January 1||Festival of the New Sun||Celebration which marks the beginning of the new year|
|13-22 February||Maiorum||A series of rituals, commemorations, and other events that honor the ancestors and the dead. Businesses close at sunset and the sale of property are forbidden|
|1 March||Imperialis Purificatio||The Ordo Templi, and other members of the Ecclasia conduct rituals and ceremonies to purify the Imperium, and its people in the eyes of the gods|
|23 March||Honorum Sanctorus Imperialis Militarum||The Primogenitor inspects the armed forces, members of the military are honored, this date serves as the graduation date from the major military academies|